ABUJA – (State House Press Report) – President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) that Nigeria will continue to make significant investments in the provision of aviation infrastructure for safe, secure, environmentally friendly and sustainable economic development of international civil aviation.
President Buhari made the commitment on Tuesday 7th December 2022 in Abuja when he received in audience the ICAO President, Salvatore Sciacchitano. In recalling the long history between Nigeria and ICAO, the President declared that Nigeria has been a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) since 1962, and has continued to make valuable contributions to the ICAO Council’s work and its activities.
“This country has been playing key role in supporting the implementation of ICAO Policies and Programmes internationally, and particularly in the African region. To this end, Nigeria has ratified all international air law instruments like the Montreal Protocol and amendments to some articles of the Chicago Convention,” President Buhari said.
He told his guest that Nigeria is championing the cause of Aviation safety, security and facilitation in Africa. According to President Buhari, he has recently signed into law the Civil Aviation Act 2022 to reposition the industry towards ensuring continuous compliance with ICAO standards and meeting the challenges of a dynamic and rapidly growing air transport sector. He also assured the ICAO President that the aviation industry in Nigeria is increasing by leaps and bounds.
The President later informed that he has approved the establishment of Aviation and Aerospace University in Abuja to cater for research and development in the sector as well as the managerial challenges. He mentioned that in this regard, Nigeria has already started receiving the support of ICAO members like Qatar under the No Country Left Behind Initiative. The President expressed confidence that the aviation sector in Nigeria would continue to grow, affirming that the roadmap of the Ministry of Aviation superintended by Senator Hadi Sirika is on course and together with other reforms of this administration will be sustained.
While congratulating Mr. Sciacchitano on his re-election as President of the ICAO Council for the second term, President Buhari appreciated the support Nigeria had enjoyed under his leadership, which according to him, culminated in Nigeria’s re-election during the 41st Session of the ICAO Assembly. The Nigerian leader informed the ICAO President that the aviation sector under this administration has more than doubled, noting that it became the fastest growing sector of the economy Pre-COVID, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
According to him, “Passenger numbers has risen from 8 – 30 million, just as the five new airport terminals have added 50 million passengers to our capacity. All these within the time frame of this Government, namely seven and half years.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in a brief remark, informed the President that the ICAO Air Services Negotiation (ICAN) event being hosted by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority will provide States, either on-site or participating remotely, with a central meeting place to conduct bilateral, regional or plurilateral air services negotiations and consultations, as well as networking opportunities for policy makers, regulators, air operators, service providers and other stakeholders.
He expressed delight in the post-COVID recovery of the country’s aviation sector, describing it as the second best in the world.
The ICAO President told President Buhari that the meeting offered an opportunity of interaction between the participants from about 160 countries and the Civil Aviation Authorities in the country, adding that more than 4,000 agreements are being signed by way of bilateral agreements.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media and Publicity)