Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has said the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation is always ready to provide support and enabling environment to those willing to invest in civil aviation.
The Minister stated this when he inspected aviation facilities at the Caverton Helicopters headquarters in Lagos. The facilities include the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) being established by the organisation and a newly acquired Simulator for the training of pilots.
A statement by the Director, Public Affairs Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu quotes Sirika who was at the facility at the instance of Caverton Helicopters as saying “I am here to see the investment they are making in the aviation industry. As one of the pprimary objectives of government is providing full support to entrepreneurs in order to provide the needed services and employments for our people, and this is exactly what is happening here at Caverton Helicopters, I am willing to continue to support Caverton and other investors in civil aviation”.
The Minister emphasised that the Ministry under his leadership is reorienting civil aviation bodies who are regulators to shift focus of being police in the industry to being enabler in the industry to create that partnership that will help to develop the industry and provide the service and employment for our people to kick start the economy and ginger it as well as to add to the GDP of the country.
Hadi Sirika added that these investments in Civil Aviation by Caverton Helicopters will certainly create more employment opportunities for the people and provide service that are needed in the country.
He further stated that, before now, the Aviation industry and services were dominated by foreigners, and that for Caverton Helicopters to embark on the massive investments, it is not only bridging the gap but creating a space for Nigeria to participate.
“I will like to thank the Chairman of Caverton Helicopters for their foresight and decision to participate in civil aviation industry, they have done so far very well” the Minister said.
Hadi Sirika said “for the FAAN which in its wisdom provided the percel of the land, I think they have done well, we are also proud of them as this will add to their revenue and activities within the airport” he said.
The Caverton Group Chairman Chief Aderemi Makanjuola thanked the Minister for coming and his kind words as well as advise for all that needed to get things right, adding that with the guidance of the Agencies under the Ministry, Caverton has so far got it right and are proud of that.
He said the invitation to the Minister to visit the facility was premised on his involvement from the beginning, and to reassure him of Caverton’s commitment to partnering with the ministry to achieve its developmental objectives.
The Managing Director the Caverton Helicopters, Rotimi Makanjuola said apart of ensuring employment opportunity to the Nigerians, the facility will also ensure capacity development and stop capital fly. “We know other industry participants spend millions of dollars flying out their pilots for capacity training in various simulators all around the world”.
He explained that Caverton has an annual budget of over $3 millions spent for flying pilots to various facilties in Dubai, USA, Europe for training.
He also said there were no many Helicopter training facilities around the world, so for Nigeria in Africa to have one will definitely going to bring in alot of capital in flow to the country.
The Minister also inspected the Taxiway B under construction at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos and met with the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) during which he commended the commitment and passion of the staff to duty during the lockdown and Airport reopening occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic.
He reiterated that all steps being taken to develop the aviation industry are all in the overall interest of the nation.
A note by the Ministry of Aviation spokesman, Dr James Odaudu indicated that the Taxiway B which is being constructed now had been abandoned for about 11 years. According to him, the implication of its completion by February 2021, as promised by Sirika, is that the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos will have the capacity to handle more planes at the same time, planes have more room for manoeuvre, and can even be used as an emergency runway should the need arise.