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Minister seeks stakeholders’ support for national carrier, airport concession | The Guardian Nigeria News



Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has sought the support of stakeholders behind the aviation sector’s roadmap to develop the sector within the lifespan of the current administration.

Sirika, in commemoration of this year’s International Civil Aviation Day (ICAD), said the roadmap was developed to serve as a catalyst for a comprehensive overhaul of the aviation industry, so as to position the country as an air transportation hub within the West and Central African sub-region.

The roadmap was in 2016 sold to the aviation stakeholders. Among its components were the establishment of a national carrier, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility, airport concession, and establishment of an aircraft leasing company.

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Only national carrier and airport concession plans have begun implementation, but not without controversies. While Nigerians have faulted the national carrier as a white elephant, aviation and labour unions said national asset concession was not in the best interest of the public.

Sirika, however, assured Nigerians that the implementation of the roadmap, which, according to him, was in line with the theme of the ICAD, remains on course and that the results would become obvious in due course.

He affirmed that safety and security remained at the centre of government’s policies since the inception of the current administration and its efforts had been applauded by all, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC).

He appealed to all players in the industry to join hands with the government to ensure the realisation of the lofty objectives of the roadmap for the benefit of Nigerians and all users of the nation’s airspace.

He harped on Nigeria’s commitment to the ideals of ICAO and other aviation bodies of which Nigeria is a member.

After every five years, the ICAO council establishes a special anniversary theme for the ICAD. The theme for ICAD 2020 is: “Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development”. The council has decided to keep the same theme until the year 2023.

International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of ICAO’s 50th-anniversary activities. In 1996, pursuant to an ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized 7 December as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system.

The purpose of International Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce worldwide awareness of the importance of international civil aviation to the social and economic development of States, and of the unique role of ICAO in helping States to cooperate and realise a truly global rapid transit network at the service of all mankind.

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