The federal government has given indication that it would review the policy document guiding the country’s civil aviation issues in order to accommodate the planned policies of the present administration. The new Civil Aviation Policy in the pipeline would include, among other things, a Master Plan to reform institutions, airports (domestic and international hubs) and national airlines, to provide domestic and international services.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen HadiSirika stated this during the ICAO 2015 WorldAviation Forum which held in Montreal, Canada, last November 23 to 25.
According to the Minister, “Nigeria, under the leadership of President MuhammaduBuhari, GCFR, will continue to upgrade and develop aviation infrastructure to improve aviation safety and security, thus creating an enabling environment for growth of airlines and other service providers, as well as protecting the interest of aviation end-users.”
In a keynote address, the ICAO President, Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, said it was a key goal for the organisation to assist member states to the fullest extent, possible with respect to the implementation of ICAO standards and policies. He added: “Only in this way can we ensure that ‘No Country is Left Behind’ and optimise the socio-economic benefits which derive from safe, secure, and reliable air transport in Africa, fully in line with local needs and expectations.”
The Canadian Minister of Transport, MarcGarneau welcomed delegates and solicited greater collaboration and understanding among nations and peoples of the world.
Several speakers including the Colombian Minster of Transport, the Secretary General of World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), DG of the European Commission as well as China and the US emphasised the connection between the effective implementation of global aviation standards and policies and the social and economic benefits.
The high powered Nigerian delegation, led by the Minister of State, Aviation, included Nigeria’s Acting Ambassador to Canada, Ja’afar Mohammed Balarabe, Directors from the Ministry of Aviation and CEOs of aviation parastatals, who provided technical support.
The forum drew participants from no fewer than 99 countries.