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National Carrier Remains Our Priority Project – Aviation Minister

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Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has given an assurance of the Federal Government’s commitment to its roadmap for the aviation sector in 2021 with the establishment of a National Carrier its priority.

Sirika who gave the assurance to the Senate Committee on Aviation during 2021 budget defence session on Tuesday at the National Assembly, said the roadmap would be implemented through Public Private Partnership (PPP), with special attention to the national carrier.

“In 2021, the sum of N78.960 billion is being proposed for capital expenditure at the headquarters in the Aviation Ministry and the emphasis will focus on the implementation of the aviation roadmap by Mr. President.

“The roadmap would be implemented through Public Private Partnership, topmost of which will be the establishment of National Carrier.”

He listed other projects to be executed as spelt out in the road map to include the establishment of a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRC) facility, development of Agro – Allied Cargo Infrastructure, establishment of Aviation Leasing Company, Search and Rescue Unit and Establishment of Aerospace University with the support of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

On the National Carrier, the Minister stressed that all required agreements and arrangements with other partners, have been worked out, making 2021 as the year, the plan that has been in the pipeline, will get practical actualization.

“This government right from inception in 2015, has been planning and strategizing on how to resuscitate National Carrier for Nigeria as far as global air transportation is concerned; the plan going by what is on the ground now, will be actualised next year through the PPP arrangement.
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The Minister added that aviation is the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy despite the setback suffered from the COVID -19 pandemic.

Indications to this effect, he said are that 10 new airports are coming up in the country in states like Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Yobe and others, apart from other ones taken over by the Federal Government like Gombe, Kebbi, Dutse, Zuru airports.

He, however, said that safety and security are more of important issues to them in the aviation sector than establishment of new airports.

“Safety and security issues first before any other thing in the aviation sector, the reason efforts are being made to put some of the airports with issues of failing infrastructure in good shape.

In the light of this, airports such as Minna, Ilorin, Makurdi, complained of, are being attended to”.
The Senate Committee on Aviation had earlier frowned at the state of disrepair, of Ilorin, Minna and Makurdi airports.

The Committee Chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi requested also the Minister to ensure the upgrade of the Ajaokuta Airstrip and establishment of Lokoja Airport.

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Aviation

NIMET RECEIVES ISO AWARDS FOR AERONAUTICAL METEOROLOGY AND CAPACITY BUILDING

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet) has been awarded the quality management services ISO 9001: 2015 and ISO 29990: 2010 for aeronautical meteorology services at the airports and capacity building at its regional training centre in Lagos.

A statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, James Odaudu stated that the certification award,  which is valid for one year, follows the successful completion of the 2022 maintenance audit process.

Presenting the ISO certifications to the Minister of Aviation Senator Hadi Sirika, the Director General of Nimet, Professor Mansur Matazu said the certification will promote the relevance and visibility of the agency in Nigeria, and Nigeria in the international community.

Professor Matazu presenting one of the awards won by NiMet to the Minister

He told the minister that “the International Standard Organization (ISO) requires that all services providers and training institutions in the world should subject themselves to periodic auditing to qualify for issuance of the appropriate certificate. This is to ensure effectiveness and excellence in the quality of service rendered to all relevant clients”.

“Based on that Nimet invited ISO through CERTECH for the certification exercise by subjecting its service across the nation’s airports and regional training centre in Lagos to a rigorous audit process” he said.

The Director-General appreciated the Minister and the Federal Government for providing the resources, guidance and support that enabled the agency to successfully attain the certification. He pledged that with continuous support, the agency will remain committed to achieving excellent service delivery.

Reacting, the Minister congratulated the agency for the great feat it has achieved.

He said the credit for the achievement goes to the present administration that provided all the support needed resources to Nimet to ensure effective service delivery and well-trained meteorologists as well as meteorological technicians.

Sirika promised to formally present the awards, and those won by other agencies of the Ministry, to President Muhammadu Buhari at a convenient time.

According to him, the planned presentation to the President is to appreciate his unalloyed support for the Aviation sector and to know that the support has been yielding dividends.

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Aviation

FEC Approves N707 Million For Aviation Accident Investigation Equipment

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The Federal Executive Council has approved N707. 9 million for the procurement of investigation tools for the Accident Investigation Bureau of the Nigerian Aviation Sector.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the tool, when procured,

Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika (file photo)

would aid investigations, whenever an aircraft is involved in an accident in any part of the country.

“The memo was for the deployment of an investigation tool by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). That tool permits the AIB to be able to record going-ons in flights; God forbid, should there be a need to investigate an accident, or a serious incident and the tool will help them to do so.

“That procurement is in the sum of N707, 962, 854. 83, an equivalent of 1, 506, 285.70 Euros, inclusive of 7.5 percent value-added tax at the Central Bank’s exchange rate of N470 to a Euro, with a delivery period of 11 months,” he stated.

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Nigeria Air: FG Approves Lease of 3 Aircraft

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The process for the establishment of a new national carrier, Nigeria Air, got a boost on Wednesday with the Federal Government approving the lease of three aircraft for initial operations.

According to the approval by the Federal government,  the national carrier would begin operations with domestic routes the aircraft to .be procured from Airbus and Boeing

A statement by the Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister of Aviation James Odaudu said the Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, made the disclosure while briefing journalists after the Federal Executive Council (FEC)  presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika announced that the airline would begin with domestic routes, then expands to regional and intercontinental routes. He was not specific with the actual date for the take-off of the airline operation.

On the likely date  for the commencement of operations Sirika said the announcement will be made soon. “We will announce commencement soon,”

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