The Federal Government has emphasized that safety in the skies is non-negotiable and that it is looking to overhaul and streamline security apparatus at the nation’s airports for more effective security surveillance and enforcement.
This is just as government has also stated that the nation’s aviation sector has the capacity to grow, adding that it was already showing signal that it could contribute to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi and Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika made these known in separate occasions both agreeing that achieving safety and security in the aviation industry is the key driver to growing the sub sector rapidly.
Speaking recently, Amaechi said that safety and security has become pertinent because of the myriad of security challenges globally stating that the country is trying to be proactive to forestall such challenges.
He said that adequate technology will be used to bolster the security at the nation’s airports and that it will also be complemented with customised training to personnel.
He said, “Subsequently in accordance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Security Program (NCASP) and International Aviation Organization (ICAO) annex 17, the Federal Government is looking to overhaul and streamline the security apparatus at the nation’s airports for a seamless and more effective security surveillance and enforcement.”
“This will also improve facilitation and passenger experience. The use of appropriate technology and customized training for security personnel will play a major role in this process. The purpose of all these measures is to work smarter in achieving stated goals and targets.“
“With regards to the operators and service providers, they must operate within the ambit of Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations and International Civil Aviation Organization Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) or face the full wrath of the law and extant regulations. This has become necessary as we cannot afford any mishap. Ladies and gentlemen, safety and security is non-negotiable.”
Meanwhile, Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika while reacting to an incursion and barricade by passengers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, agreed with his transport counterpart disclosing that the government was determined to deliver a more vibrant and efficient aviation sector in 2016 by making safety, security and efficiency its watch word with regards to transportation.
According to the Minister, once you are safe and secured in the industry, you have nearly achieved 100 percent of what you are meant to achieve.
“It is not about the beauty of the airports or planting flowers or other vanities, it is about safety, security and efficiency as far as aviation is concerned,’’ he said.
On the sub sectors growth potential, Sirika stated that aviation is carrying by value, 31 per cent of the world cargo which make it a very important industry as the fastest means of transportation more efficiently.
”With specific to Nigeria, you could see how we grew from Kano Airport where the first plane landed in the country to about 22 Federal Government owned airports plus several other private owned airports.
“On the whole, aviation I can say has grown to an appreciable level in the country and it has the capacity to grow more which is important to the economy of the country, he said.
Sirika added that the country also had good manpower such as pilots and engineers to move the industry forward.