Nigeria has secured the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council seat for the first time in history of the international body.
THISDAY learnt that152 ICAO member states voted for Nigeria to secure Council seat in the Part II category at the on-going 39th Assembly of the world aviation regulatory body.
This means that Nigeria will be a member of the Council for the next three years before another election.
Expressing his happiness on the election, the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said, “I feel great, I feel that Nigeria has taken its rightful place. We are being elected into Part II yet again. Nigeria has been in this council since 1962. We have been contributing our quota and aviation has taken the centre stage now in the world especially post 9/11. Security has come to centre stage without diminishing safety.”
After the election, the Nigerian ICAO President, Dr. Bernard Aliu, paid a visit to the country’s office at the ICAO headquarters in Montreal to congratulate Sirika, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation and aviation chief executives present that attended the event.
The Secretary-General of African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), Ms. Iyabo Sosina, congratulated Nigeria, urging the country to put effort in the development of aviation.
According to ICAO, each member state is entitled to one vote on matters before the ICAO Assembly and decisions at these sessions are taken by a majority of the votes cast – except where otherwise provided for in the Convention.
Appreciating African and other countries that voted Nigeria into the council for another three years, Sirika said, “I thank them very much and I thank the nations that voted Nigeria. Most importantly, I thank the Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who in the first place allowed and approved that Nigeria stand for the election. He gave us all the necessary support and it has yielded good result.”
Speaking further, Sirika said, “Nigeria has long ago endorsed the “No Country Left Behind” initiative of ICAO. Nigeria has been supporting aviation industry in the sub-region. We have Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight (BAGASSO) domiciled in Nigeria and headquartered in Nigeria and being funded largely by Nigeria. Nigeria will continue to play the key role in leading aviation in West and Central Africa.”
According to ICAO, the Council is a permanent body of the organisation responsible to the Assembly, which is composed of 36 Member States elected by the Assembly for a three-year term.
In the election, adequate representation is given to states of chief importance in air transport, states not otherwise included but which make the largest contribution to the provision of facilities for international civil air navigation and states not otherwise included which designation will ensure that all major geographic areas of the world are represented on the Council.