President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, told a gathering of global aviation stakeholders that Nigeria would continue to champion the cause of aviation safety, security and facilitation throughout the continent through the ongoing support of the comprehensive regional implementation plan for Aviation Security and the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) plans.
He also said Nigeria was a signatory to both the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and the Memorandum of Implementation (MoI) of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a critical component of the African Union Agenda 2063, aimed at rapid economic development, integration, facilitation of trade and commerce and free movement of persons.
Buhari stated these in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 14th International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation. He was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari. He also listed another significant contribution of Nigeria to Africa’s economic growth with the hosting of the Headquarters of the Banjul Accord Regional Safety Oversight Organisation (BAGASOO).
“We are also a major contributor and participant in the Regional Accident Investigation Agency, the Banjul Accord Group Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA)
“Recently Nigeria made a donation to ICAO voluntary Air Transport Fund in order to be part of global efforts for recovery from the Corona virus pandemic (COVID-19). We made an equally significant financial contribution to the Safety and Human Resources Development Fund, in addition to hosting several ICAO meetings and regional workshops, including the widely acclaimed ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in 2017 and the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems Symposium.
“This has actually enabled us to develop new skills and expand our horizons in connecting with the growing number of Stakeholders that we would not have been able to reach before. I want to assure you that we take our commitment seriously to champion the cause of Aviation Safety, Security and Facilitation in Africa”, he told the gathering.
President Buhari said the federal government has adopted a Civil Aviation Policy centered on liberalization and Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives.
This, he noted, has resulted in significant growth of the industry, including huge investments in the nation’s airports which has increased our airports capacities and growth of the domestic airline industry.
“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.