Buhari Directs Aviation Agencies to Reorganise, Adapt Newly Signed Civil Aviation Act

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday directed the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika to reorganise agencies under his watch to conform with the new Civil Aviation Act recently signed into law.

 The president said the Act was a critical element of ICAO to further strengthen the sector for improved safety.

Buhari in his keynote address at the 14th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation event in Abuja, noted that the government of Nigeria had adopted a Civil Aviation Policy centered on liberalisation and Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives.

This he said had resulted in significant growth of the industry and huge investments in the nation’s airports.

This, according to Buhari, has increased, “our airports capacities and growth of the domestic airline industry.”

The president, represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, said having the unique and important event for the third time in Africa, demonstrated ICAO’s determination and interest to support the sustainable development of air transport in the region.

“I therefore wish to take this opportunity to appreciate ICAO under the leadership of Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano, the President of the ICAO Council because one of the fundamental building blocks of the solid partnership between Nigeria and ICAO is our commitment to supporting the implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices as well as the range of the Organisation’s programmes and policies, particularly in the African region,” he said.

According to him, “Nigeria continues to champion the cause of aviation safety, security and facilitation throughout the continent with our on-going support on the comprehensive regional implementation plan for Aviation Security and the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) plans.

“The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the immense contribution and importance of air transportation as a catalyst for economic development, vital engine of global socio-economic growth, and one of the greatest contributors to the advancement of modern society and a key instrument for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This is why my administration has placed aviation at the centre of its National Economic Development. Our collective efforts have enhanced aviation safety, security and efficiency.

“Huge investments have been made in the area of the provision of aviation infrastructure and facilities to further create enabling operating environment for more efficient and profitable industry.”

Speaking further, the president said: “It is my belief that as air services negotiators, this event will provide the required atmosphere for you to discuss, negotiate and come up with air services agreements that would further increase air connectivity and give the consumers of your services better travelling experience.

“Nigeria as a member of the ICAO Council since 1962, has continued to collaborate with other Member States in making valuable contributions to the work of the Council and its activities including supporting the ideals and aspirations of ICAO, as well as achieving its strategic objectives.”

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