President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said that more investments would be deployed to the provision of infrastructure and facilities for safe, secure, environmentally friendly and sustainable civil aviation in the country.
The President, who received the Secretary-General of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Mr. Juan Carlos Salazar, at the State House, said Nigeria would support the ideals and aspirations of ICAO and achievement of its strategic objectives, in collaboration with other Member States of the Organization.
“Nigeria became a member of ICAO Council in 1962, and since then, it has continued to make valuable contributions to the Council’s work and its activities.
“It is pertinent to also mention that Nigeria has been playing a key role in supporting the implementation of ICAO Policies and Programmes internationally, and particularly in the African region.
“To this end, Nigeria has ratified international air law instruments like the Montreal Protocol and amendments to some articles of the Chicago Convention. Nigeria is also championing the cause of Aviation safety, security and facilitation in Africa,’’ he said.
The President told the ICAO delegation that he has approved the establishment of Aerospace University in Abuja to cater for research and development as well as provide manpower for the industry.
“In this regard, Nigeria is looking forward to the continued support of ICAO under its ‘No Country Left Behind’ initiative,’’ he added.
President Buhari also noted that the Nigerian Government has established independent agencies in order to enhance aviation safety and security, while ensuring effective and efficient provision and management of infrastructure in all aspects of the industry.
“These include the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for safety and economic oversight of the industry; the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency for air traffic services; the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria for management of Government owned airports; the Nigerian Meteorological Agency for meteorological services; and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, the nation’s main aviation training organization, established in 1964 in collaboration with ICAO and the United Nations Development Programme.
“Nigeria is fully committed to working with other States and support the implementation of the Global Aviation Safety Plan, the Global Air Navigation Plan, as well as the Global Aviation Security Plan,’’ the President said.
As part of its support, President Buhari said Nigeria, over time, seconded auditors to support various ICAO programmes in the areas of safety and security.
“We have also contributed experts on various ICAO technical panels, commissions and working groups.
“The Government of Nigeria has adopted a civil aviation policy, which is centered on liberalization and Public-Private-Partnerships Initiative. These have resulted in huge investments in the nation’s airports infrastructure and services, increased capacity utilization and phenomenal increase in the number of domestic operators.
“Indeed, the domestic and international traffic has experienced a tremendous growth since our assumption of office in 2015.