by Martins Omoregie
Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that the Federal government aims to improve Nigeria’s aviation security to the next level and not be a global weak link in this era of global insecurity.
Senator Sirika who addressed participants at the ongoing Regional Ministerial Conference on aviation security entitled ‘Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP): The Roadmap to Foster Aviation Security in Africa and the Middle East,’ in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt voiced out the country’s commitment to the global aviation security.
He noted,“May I on behalf of Nigeria President, President Muhammadu Buhari assure you the commitment of Nigeria in this regard of aviation safety, that we will take seriously any task, role or assignment assigned to the nation of Nigeria or that Nigeria assigned itself in this regard and to further state that we would not be the weak link in aviation security. This has also been demonstrated by the fact that the President and Commander-In-Chief of the country Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the improvement of our aviation security, AVSEC as it is called. They are now arms bearing and have been committed to series of trainings. We want to thank the United Nation Counter-Terrorism Department that conducted training twice in Nigeria recently and they will continue to provide that training. We are partnering with them to support us in the K-9 program that will improve security in Nigeria aviation.”
Sirika also used the the opportunity to thank all organizations that have been in the training of Nigeria’s aviation security personnel.
The Senator stated the country’s commitment to global aviation security at the Regional Ministerial Conference in Egypt.
“Furthermore, to ensure that there is institutional weight behind what we are doing, the Civil Aviation Act in Nigeria has just been reviewed and approved by the council of ministers under the leadership of the President and it is with the parliament for approval and passage,” he noted.
“We have established training facilities in Abuja and Lagos by the help of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Department and we have also established a training department within the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority training center and with Nigerian College of Aviation Technology to further strengthen aviation security.”
Sirika said, “I wish to restate our cooperation with all the nations in this matter and also that, this is our own understanding of the philosophy of ‘No Country Left Behind’ of ICAO, I will like to thank all of you and those who were able to attend the ICAO RPAS Symposium in Nigeria which has been adjudged to be a huge success. We are assuring you that we are following up on the resolutions that were achieved during that symposium.”
The participants in the three-day conference are the Ministers of Transport/Aviation, and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCS) of the International Civil Aviation, Organization (ICAO) Member States, Air Force Instruction (AFI) and AFI-MID Regional Organizations, Regional Civil Aviation bodies and international organizations including ICAO and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UN‐CTED).
The conference compromises of two parts: a Senior Officials Meeting in which a draft regional roadmap will be developed while taking in account aviation security challenges and the targets of GASeP and the Ministerial Conference that will reaffirm the need to enhance implementation of international aviation security standard, according to ICAO website.