Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation, says the goal of the ongoing restructuring of the country’s aviation sector is to properly reposition it to contribute more to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Sirika disclosed this in a statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, on Wednesday in Abuja to mark the 2016 International Civil Aviation Day.
He said in the statement that the Federal Government was also determined to place Nigeria in a position to give leadership and direction to other countries within the sub-Saharan Africa region.
He said that the present administration recognised the potential of the aviation industry to impact positively on the economic development aspirations of the nation.
He noted that Nigeria had long ago endorsed the theme for the year, “Working Together to Ensure No Country is Left Behind” initiative of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
“The objective of Civil Aviation Day is to help generate and reinforce the unique role of ICAO in helping states to cooperate and realise a truly global rapid transit network.
“Nigeria has been supporting the aviation industry in the West and Central African sub-region.
“We have Banjul Accord and BAGASSO domiciled and headquartered in Nigeria and being funded largely by Nigeria and will continue to play key role in leading aviation in the sub-region.’’
The minister also reiterated that the proposed concession of some of the nation’s airports was part of the overall roadmap to ensure that Nigeria becomes a regional hub for air transportation.
Furthermore, he added that the establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities, national carrier, Aviation Development Bank, Aerospace University and other initiatives would also come with their attendant economic multiplier effects.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the International Civil Aviation Day was established in 1994 as part of ICAO’s 50th anniversary activities.
Pursuant to ICAO initiative and with the assistance of the Canadian Government, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized Dec. 7 as International Civil Aviation Day in the UN system in 1996. (NAN)