By Lawrence Olaoye
Nigerian Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, has said that the country stands the chance to benefit immense investment inflow after the hosting of the ICAO World Aviation Forum in Abuja.
Sirika, who briefed State House Correspondents after leading officials of the forum to a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, said “The purpose of this Forum is to connect needs and sources of financing for member states. Nigeria will not be left behind. There is World Bank, Boeing, Airbus, African Development Bank, and so on and so forth. Nigeria will not sit by. We will take advantage of the opportunity to close some deals if we can or at least agree to something and sign some MOUs regarding not only the national carrier but financing of others infrastructural needs of the country.
This is very important to us and we are grateful to ICAO for agreeing to host the forum in Nigeria. We will make sure we make, progress before we depart.”
“We have been working since we came, Aviation is beyond robust airport or carrier, there is a lot more. What is more important show safe you take off from one point and land safely on the other point.
The Civil Aviation Centre Zaria is now called Nigeria Aviation College of Technology, has become regional, center of excellence, one of the best in the world, not more than 20of their kind around the world.
This is a plus for this administration that we took it there. For the first time ever Nigeria has certified two of its airports: Abuja and Lagos according to the standards and the recommended practices of International Civil Aviation Organisation. For me this is a great achievement,” Sirika added.
Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Iyabo Shoshina, said the country could use aviation as catalyst fir growth pointing out that countries like Ghana, Togo, Rwanda, and Ethiopia are using aviation to develop their economy.
Pierre Guislain, Vice President AfDB, Vice President for private sector infrastructure and industrialization of the African Development Bank, said “West and Central Africa are the worst connected regions in Africa and probably in the world. So there are specific challenges here that we are keen to meet and to help other African and international stakeholders meet.”