Global aviation body commends Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

The International Civil Aviation Organization ICAO says it will continue to support Nigeria’s aviation sector, because of the leadership role the country plays in Africa.

President of the Council of the organization, Mr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliyu disclosed this while speaking to State House Correspondents after paying a visit to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

“We are already impacting positively here in Nigeria, in terms of safety oversight development, aviation security as well as training and capacity building. We are working on transforming Nigeria into a regional centre of excellence in terms of training and to support to ensure that aviation safe, secure and sustainable and to be an example to other developing countries in Africa. So Nigeria is playing a key leadership role and we will continue to support the country in playing that role,” he said.

Mr Aliyu thanked the Nigerian government for hosting the organization’s event in Abuja as well as supporting aviation development in Nigeria, Africa and the World.

“We are here to express appreciation to the Acting President because Nigeria is hosting the very important event we have here in Abuja on remotely piloted aircraft system and also to thank the Nigerian government for the investment and support it is giving to aviation development in Nigeria, which extends to Africa and the World,” Aliyu said.

Also speaking, the Minister of State-Aviation, Hadi Sirika outlined the benefits of hosting the symposium of ICAO in Abuja.

“Nigeria is going to benefit immensely through this symposium and we will use its outcome to be able to be able to regulate more efficiently the use of unmanned vehicles. We will regulate that, so that we remain safe and secure and then make the industry much more efficient as well as tap from the good uses of drones,” the Minister stated.

Overwhelming Support

Meanwhile, the Minister of State-Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika has expressed appreciation to government for supporting the activities of the aviation sector.

Shortly after he led a team from the International Civil Aviation Organisation ICAO to the office of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on a courtesy visit, Sirika said announced that the team form ICAO was in Nigeria for a symposium on remotely piloted aircraft system, which the country is hosting.

“The government has shown us support in terms of hosting the symposium because it could have been in another country. Secondly, since the inception of this government, it has been quite supportive. They have always given us their support in our efforts to change the face of aviation in Nigeria,” he said.

The minister said the Acting President cautioned the ministry not to over regulate the activities of the aviation sector.

“The Acting President himself is an enthusiast of drones he has one and has been flying drones by himself. He gave us all the support and guidance that we need. He even warned us not to over regulate in order not t send away anyone,” the minister stated.