The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has called on States in the West Africa sub-region to focus on addressing the issues of financing and modernization of aviation infrastructure to accelerate connectivity within the region.
The Minister who made the call at the just concluded virtual Ministerial high-level meeting of aviation Ministers in the Sub-Region said, to achieve this, States must woo private investors to support and fund infrastructure development in a transparent, stable and predictable investment climate.
He stated that the ingredients to facilitating and enhancing air connectivity exist in the region especially with the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS protocols on free movement of people among members states and the solemn commitment of States in the region to the Single African Air Transport Market, SAATM.
Senator Sirika maintained that, collaboration had contributed immensely to the promotion of safety in the sub-region through comprehensive regional implementation plan for aviation safety in Africa and the African-Indian Ocean, AFI, the Banjul Accord Group and the aviation safety oversight organization the BAGGASO in Abuja hosted and especially funded by Nigeria.
The Minister announced that Nigeria is currently planning a sensitization workshop on SAATM to enhance connectivity within the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA) framework.
He expressed Nigeria’s continued support and collaboration with the International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO and development partners on the development of air transport in the sub region for the collective good of the region.
The two-day high level Ministerial virtual meeting had in attendance Directors General of Civil Aviation in the West Africa region, policy makers, representatives of ICAO, Africa Civil Aviation Commission, Africa development bank, world bank among others.