President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has promised that the Federal Government will ensure a world class safe air transportation system in Nigeria.The President spoke on Thursday in Abuja, through the Vice President, Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, at the Opening Ceremony of the African Ministerial Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa.
President Jonathan said “our dream is to bequeath a lasting legacy of an effective and internationally competitive state-of-the-art air transportation infrastructure that guarantees maximum efficiency and bring the industry to globally acceptable safety and security standards.”
He disclosed that in order to ensure a robust and efficient domestic aviation sector, government was putting in place a single digit special intervention fund, “to grow domestic airlines and encourage high net-worth investors and indigenous companies to invest in the industry,” adding that “our commitment to the on-going transformation of the Aviation Sector will be holistic and far-reaching.”
Speaking further, Dr. Jonathan challenged the African Ministers on Civil Aviation to pursue the goal of Zero Accidents and Zero Fatality in Africa, emphasising the need for effective collaboration among African countries in order to achieve these goals, adding that Nigeria was committed to working with sister African countries and international stakeholders towards enhancing air safety in Africa.
“I believe very strongly that if air transportation is safe all over the world, it must be made safe in Africa,” he stated.
President Jonathan at the occasion thanked the African Ministers for supporting Nigeria’s candidate for the position of the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. O. B. Aliu in 2013.
In her remarks, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, called for effective partnership among sister African countries to enhance safe air travel on the continent. She noted that in order to ensure air safety, customer confidence and satisfaction, Nigeria was modernising the aviation sector by proving world class infrastructure, equipment and policy framework.
In their separate remarks, the President of ICAO, Dr. Roberto Kobeh Gonzaleze, Commissioner, African Union Commission, Dr. (Mrs) Ibrahim Elam, Director and Director General, Airport Council International (AIC), Mrs. Angela Gittens, all called for effective collaboration among African states, pledging the support and assistance of their various organisation to ensure safe air travel in Africa.
The five-day Ministerial meeting which commenced on Monday 16, July, 2012, would end on Friday, 20th July, 2012. It is expected to consider and adopt Safety Targets, Action Plan and Declaration on Aviation Safety.