Undoubtedly, the name ‘Festus Keyamo’ stands out as one of the most popular among the 46 appointed Ministers to average Nigerians, perhaps as a result of his high visibility on social media. Keyamo’s emergence as the new Minister for Aviation and Aerospace Development heralds a new chapter in the nation’s journey towards technological advancement and global recognition.
With a track record of resilience and ingenuity, Keyamo’s diverse expertise undoubtedly paints a portrait of a visionary leader. But is he ready to shape the aviation and aerospace landscape? That’s a question he must answer.
Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and stalwart of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is a Nigerian lawyer, columnist, and human rights activist who has distinguished himself in service to the nation. He served as Minister of Labour and Employment after being redeployed from Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
The legal luminary’s appointment is coming when the aviation sector is in dire need of radical change in all spheres. The sector has recently been battling a series of industrial actions, particularly from the Union of Aviation Security (AVSEC) and logistics workers who commenced a now-suspended strike on August 16th, 2023, over the fight against N30,000 monthly pay to some of their workers.
Keyamo will also need to, as a matter of urgency on the assumption of office, address some of the Nigerian aviation and aerospace sector’s challenges, which include inadequate infrastructure, safety concerns, shortage of a skilled workforce, regulatory issues, limited funding, security threats, inefficient airspace management, lack of connectivity to remote regions, ageing fleet, corruption among other issues that collectively hinder the growth, safety, and sustainability of the industry.
As he assumes office as the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, can Keyamo steer Nigeria’s aviation industry to greater heights?
While there is no “Yes” or “No” answer to the above question, Keyamo’s previous performance as Minister of Labour and Employment was not all so bad, even though he was not proactive in tackling issues of workers’ welfare. He got a lot of backlash for the way he handed the 22-month Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike.
As his tenure unfolds, Nigerians anticipate what his leadership in the sector has in stock for the nation. Will he be able to reposition the trust imposed on him by President Tinubu and herald the aviation sector into greatness? Only time will tell.
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