President Muhammad Buhari has disclosed that he is under serious pressure from Nigerians to establish a national airline. The President made this known during the visit of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO).
The President reiterated his determination to speed up the improvement of aviation infrastructure in the country for the growth of the country’s economy. He said, “I equally support a national airline for both patriotic and economic reasons. We have enough trained citizens, including pilots and engineers. But Nigerians need to know how we lost the one we had before,” he said, referring to the defunct Nigeria Airways.”
According to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President expressed delight with the recent awards Nigeria won from ICAO based on the high ranking accorded to the country in safety and security at the nation’s airports.
Following this, President Buhari declared his total support and commitment to work with regulatory agencies in the aviation sector so to ensure the continued safety of air travel throughout the country.
Nigeria is hosting the meeting of International World Aviation Forum in Abuja, and this is the first time such a conference would hold anywhere outside Montreal, Canada.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who led the ICAO delegation disclosed to the president that over 40 aviation ministers and representatives from 70 countries, World Bank, African Development Bank, manufacturers of aircraft and aviation equipment are attending this year’s conference titled, “Financing Development of Aviation Infrastructure.”
Sirika, who spoke with state house correspondents later explained that the purpose of the forum is to connect needs and sources of financing for member states.
He said, “Nigeria will not be left behind. There is World Bank, Boeing, Airbus, African Development Bank, and so on. Nigeria will not sit by. We will take advantage of the opportunity to close some deals if we can or at least agree to something and sign some Memorandum of Understanding regarding not only the national carrier but financing of others infrastructural needs of the country.”