July 18, 2017

Nigeria can be regional leader in aviation business – ICAO President

The President of Council, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr Olumuyiwa Aliu, says Nigeria can be the regional leader of aviation business in Africa through good airport management system.

Aliu made the statement when he led his team on a courtesy visit to the Minister of State, Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Aliu was on the visit in company with the Second Vice-President of the council, Mr Nuhu Musa, and Mrs Iyobo Sosina, Secretary General, African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

Also, on the team was Mr Mam Sait Jallow, ICAO’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

Aliu said the visit was to afford them the opportunity to take a look at the issues of the safety of air navigation, security of airport, infrastructure development and capacity building.

He said ICAO through its regional office in Africa would continue to engage the government in order to follow up on all the issues.

According to him, the effort is aimed at looking at privatisation and ensure that the sector is properly restructured and the analysis required to establish a good airport management plan.

Aliu said the visit was to also show appreciation to the Federal Government for the hospitality and courtesies extended to participants at the on-going Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) symposium.

He added that the symposium would enable participants to share experiences and help to develop regulation in the way that the country could manage the emerging phenomenon of the RPAS.

“By this visit we effect the foundation for the work that we will do in the development of the drones and implementation of the drone technology.

“It is particularly in ensuring that there is appropriate regulatory framework to enable our member states to take advantage of the new technology in a safe and efficient manner with regard for other airspace users who are working in the segregated environment.

“I am particularly pleased that the participation of the Nigerian industry I have visited, not only the regulatory body, but I have noticed also the participation of other sectors of defence.

“The Comptroller-General of Immigration was here yesterday because drones could be very useful for border patrol,’’ he said.

The minister commended Aliu for the support that ICAO had been giving to the nation’s aviation industry and the hosting of the RPAS symposium in Nigeria.

Sirika said the visit was a morale booster for Nigerian aviation industry in the area of training and capacity building as well as deployment of skills.

He said effort was being made to ensure the successful certification of Nigerian airports by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and in addition improve security and safety of the airports.

He added that the government had decided to concession the airports and that transaction advisers had been appointed for the establishment of a private sector driven national carrier.

“We cannot thank ICAO enough and AFCAC and the Regional office for the work they have been doing for the Ministry of Transportation in Nigeria.

“I can assure you that the works are going and we will continue to do more to achieve the desired result.

“We have finished reviewing the Acts of the Civil Aviation, 2016 and forwarded it to the National Assembly for passage and we hope to achieve this before the end of the year,’’ Sirika said