…Says ICAO Will Partner Nigeria To Tackle Threats
…To Transform Aviation College Into Regional Training Instruction
The President of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, said that the organisation has been discussing Aviation Ministers across the globe in view of the recent airport attacks to strengthen security across around the world.
Abelnews recalled that Brussels airport had remained closed to regularly scheduled passenger flights since twin suicide bombings devastated the departure hall on March 22, killing at least 16 people and injuring scores more.
An equal number died in the center of the Belgian capital in a bombing attack on a subway station.
Brussels Airport reopened for a small number of passenger flights Sunday, nearly two weeks after it was hit by deadly terrorist attacks.
Speaking in an interview with Aviation Correspondents in Abuja shortly after a dinner organised in his honour by the Ministry of Aviation.
Aliu stated that aviation security being a sensitive one, would not disclose the strategies to be implemented but assured that ICAO will collaborate with Nigeria to nip any threat in the bud, adding that security is one of the critical issues in aviation.
According to the ICAO President, “Few months ago, I did send a team to do assessment in Nigeria and also in some neighbouring countries including Chad and Cameron”.
Aliu said ICAO was working very closely with the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria to transform the college to a regional training college of excellence as means of capacity building, adding that the level of infrastructural development and implementation has been encouraging.
On the challenges he is facing as the ICAO President, he stated that one of the challenges was to see how to raise the level of implementation of ICAO standard of recommended international practices among member countries not withstanding their level of resources.
The ICAO President declared that for Nigeria to be a hub, it must have strong local carriers, developed and equipped airports.
The ICAO boss expressed hope that with the determination of President Muhammadu Buhari to rid the country of corruption, the aviation sector especially would bounce back, as according to him corruption has eaten deep into the system including civil aviation.
Aliu argued that with a professional as the Minister of State for Aviation, there was no doubt that the sector would be transformed soon especially by pulling ICAO resources together at the disposal of Nigeria to develop the aviation sector.
According to him, “We launched a campaign few years ago so that no country is left behind, the focus of which is to support our developing states, ICAO is an organisation of 191 countries, some are very much endowed and some are less endowed. All the member states have to fulfill the same standard and recommended practices. There is no short cut and in doing that, we cannot cover the whole 191 states; we have to work with regional offices. In Africa, Nigeria will be the number one candidate”.