The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has again reiterated the Federal Government resolve to address the myriads of challenges the industry is facing namely in the area of finance and safety.
The Minister, speaking at this year’s Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives of Nigeria AFARN summit and award ceremony in Lagos, said despite these challenges, the government was determined to addressing these challenges to ensure that the target to make air transport the safest and more secure in the country was realized.
“Government is making concerted efforts to ensure that issues likely to inhibit steady growth in the industry is nipped in the bud”.
Senator Sirika who was represented by the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Mr. Akin Olaterunoted that government was seriously committed to addressing the need for a true National carrier, improvement in investment climate and the challenge of unviable airport system that bedeviled the industry.
According to the minister, it was not all tales of woos as some remarkable achievement had been made in the areas of in the introduction of the Ease of Doing Business, reconstruction of the Abuja Airport Runway, rescue of Arik airline from extinction.
“Improvement and streamlining of travel process, the proposed concession of the airports by the Federal Government , FG’s approval of the upgrade of Lagos-Airport road,, completion of multi-storey car park, release of air crash reports and connecting Nnamdi Azikiwe airports by rail to the city of Abuja”, he added.
Sirika observed that to achieve a conducive atmosphere for aviation business to thrive, the active participation of the private sector was key.
“We should not lose sight of the active private sector participation. Government through various means is encouraging everyone in the system to remain afloat and meaningfully too. This way there will be additional jobs created for Nigerian youths”.
On this year’s AFARN theme: ‘Promoting the Nigerian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Through Safety Consciousness in the Aviation Industry’, Sirika said the topic was apt and could not have come at a better time when Nigeria was truly diversifying the economy.
“Aviation being one of the pillars of global economic trade, points to the fact that by the year 2034 eight of the fastest growing markets in percentage terms will be in Africa of which Nigeria remains a major force due to her population on the continent and will thus continue to have a fair share of the growing market regionally”.
He commended AFARN for putting the programme together,” I am thrilled at the efforts of the President of this group Mr. Kingsley Nwokoma whom I learnt has continued to bring together professional and various stakeholders to discuss on issues of safety which is key to the growth and advancement of the aviation industry”.