February 2, 2023

FG in Uganda over direct air connectivity

By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja 

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has led a delegation to met with the government of Kampala, Uganda to facilitate direct air connectivity between the duo countries. 

According to a statement ,Thursday, in Abuja, by the Special Assistant to Nigeria’s Minister on Public Affairs, Dr James Odaudu, the meeting focused on the review of subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between both countries, which was signed in 2002 and reviewed in 2005.

It also focused on how to give the necessary administrative and technical support to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed during the last International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) Event which held in Abuja from 5th to 9th December, 2022.

Sirika underscored the importance of air transportation, which he said remains the major veritable means of connecting the people of Africa and enhancing trade.

He stated that air transportation will do well in Africa with her population of over 1.37 Billion and urged African Nations to leverage the opportunity of Single Africa Air Transport Market ( SAATM) to attain the 2065 Africa Agenda.

He assured the Government of Uganda that Nigeria would do all she could do to ensure air connectivity becomes a reality as both countries have come a long way and promised positive responses to the requests made by Uganda.

Sirika commended his Ugandan counterpart for providing the atmosphere to host the meeting and acknowledged the roles played by the High Commissioner of Uganda to Nigeria and the Nigeria-Uganda Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines of Agriculture in facilitating the meeting.

The Minister of Works and Transport of Uganda, Gen. Edward Katumba Kamala who received the delegation, however, appreciated Senator Sirika for his physical presence, stating that the visit would afford both Ministers opportunities to provide the necessary political leadership that would facilitate the implementation of the Agreements reached during the meeting.

Gen. Kamala, during the meeting, reiterated his Country’s quest for the operation of direct flight into Nigeria using its national carrier, the Uganda Airlines.

He also sought technical cooperation and collaboration between the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, and the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA), located in Soroti, Uganda. Equally, the Ugandan Aeronautical Authorities also solicited technical support from Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

He lauded the excellent relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as both leaders are united in ensuring that Africa and her people are prosperous and united on all fronts of human capital development.