The Minster of Aviation- Hadi Sirika, has disclosed that Nigeria had recorded significant improvement in the area of safety, adding that the government would continue with the installation of modern security equipment at airports as well as implementation of national aviation security programme.
This is coming as the International Civil Aviation Organisation at its 40th assembly recognised Nigeria alongside 27 other countries for their progress in resolving safety oversight and security deficiencies.
During the opening ceremony of the 40th assembly in Montreal, Canada, ICAO Council President, Dr Olumuyiwa Aliu, presented 28 states from all ICAO regions with the council president certificates.
The certificates were in recognition of the states’ significant progress in safety and security as well as effective implementation of ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices as identified through related ICAO audit programmes.
Aliu said based on their achievements in 2018, 16 nations including Nigeria were recognised by the ICAO Council.
“These awards, established by the ICAO Council in support of our ongoing No Country Left Behind initiative, have been developed in order to more publicly acknowledge and encourage states’ commitment and progress in making our global network even safer and more secure than it is today,” he said.
According to him, the effective implementation of ICAO’s global Standards and Recommended Practices is considered a fundamental prerequisite today for establishing air transport’s rapid global connectivity, and in turn the many socio-economic benefits it helps to realise.
Sirika said Nigeria within the last three years had continued to work towards sustaining the successes achieved in the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme and the Federal Aviation Administration’s International Aviation Safety Assessment Category 1 Rating.
He said this had been done through the strengthening of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to keep regulating aviation safety without political interference.
The minister said the government was collaborating with ICAO and the African Civil Aviation Commission to promote safety in the sub-region by actively supporting the accomplishment of the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa.
He said Nigeria had also been hosting and substantially funding the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organisation, a regional safety organisation with its headquarters in Abuja.
“With regard to aviation security, Nigeria has continued to record significant improvements in this area with the installation of modern security equipment at our airports, continuous implementation of our national aviation security programme and up-to-date training for aviation security personnel,” he said.
The minister stated that ICAO recently certified the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s training school to train aviation security personnel.
Sirika noted that the facility would be available to train aviation security personnel both in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region.
He explained that apart from efforts on safety, security and the environment, the Federal Government had also embarked on infrastructure resuscitation and made substantial investments in the provision of modern landing and navigational equipment.