Nigeria is set to host a sensitization workshop on the Single Africa Air Transport Market, SAATM to enhance connectivity within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), framework.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who disclosed this during the High level virtual Ministerial meeting said, Nigeria was committed to supporting the initiatives that would bring about connectivity in the sub-region geared towards boosting air transport growth and development.
He noted that, Nigeria’s determination to host the meeting is bore out of the desire to find lasting solutions to the challenges of the sector in the sub-region especially at the time when the industry is unprecedentedly being impacted by Covid19 pandemic resulting in depressed travel demands.
Sirika said, the ingredients to facilitate and enhance air connectivity lies in the ECOWAS protocols on free movement of people among members states and the solemn commitment of States in the region to SAATM.
“This is why the focus of the meeting is not only relevant but significant to the sub region and to optimising its commitment to the Africa continental free trade area, the Yammousokro decision YD and the Single Africa Air Transport Market SAATM, the benefits of these various initiatives will improve trade tourism and economic development of the sub region and increase connectivity”.
He reiterated that, achieving the desired objectives, States in the sub-region must address the issue of financing and modernization of aviation infrastructure in line with the historic declaration and framework for plan of action for aviation infrastructure development in Africa.
According to him, countries in the region must seek private investors support in the funding of infrastructure by building a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate as well as include aviation in the national development plan.
The Minister observed that, Nigeria’s resolve to collaborate in addressing air transport challenges have yielded positive results.
” That collaboration, has immensely contributed to the promotion of safety in our sub region through comprehensive regional implementation plan for aviation safety in Africa and AFI plan and the Bangul Accord group and the aviation safety oversight organization the BAGGASO in Abuja which is hosted and especially funded by us in Nigeria”.
“Nigeria has continued to participate in the ICAO PKD and support ICAO’s efforts to provide assistance to other West Africa states in the programme to introduce new passport. Nigeria will continue to offer support and collaborate with you and development partners on the dev of air transport in our sub region for our collective good”.
Aviation Ministers in the West Africa Sub-region and other international organizations who participated in the 2-dah virtual meeting commended the Minister and the government of Nigeria for its commitment towards aviation development in the sub-region in hosting the event.
The meeting co-sponsored by the Ministry of Aviation and the International Partners for Aviation Development, Innovation and Sustainability (iPADIS), has as its theme: “Enhancing Air Transport Connectivity and Growth in West Africa”.