The Minister of State Aviation Hadi Sirika has assured the international community that Nigeria would not be a weak link in global aviation security.
The Minister gave the assurance at ongoing Regional ministerial conference on aviation security Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt with the theme ‘Global Aviation Security Plan (GASeP): The Roadmap to Foster Aviation Security in Africa and the Middle East.”
While reiterating government commitment to take aviation security to the next level, he said “May I on behalf of Nigeria President, President Muhammadu Buhari assure you the commitment of Nigeria in this regard of aviation safety, that we will take seriously any task, role or assignment assigned to the nation of Nigeria or that Nigeria assigned itself in this regard and to further state that we will not be the weak link in aviation security.”
He disclosed that the president has approved the upgrade of the Aviation Security, (AVSEC) as they are now arms bearing adding that the government is also committed to giving them series of trainings.
Sirika however commended the organizations that have been invaluable in the training of Nigeria’s aviation security personnel. “We want to thank the United Nation Counter-Terrorism Department that conducted training twice in Nigeria recently and they will continue to provide that training. We are partnering with them to support us in the K-9 program that will improve security in Nigeria aviation.”
He disclosed that the Civil Aviation Act in Nigeria has just been reviewed and approved by the council of ministers under the leadership of the President and it is with the parliament for approval and passage adding that it would provide institutional weight behind what is being done
He said “We have established training facilities in Abuja and Lagos by the help of United Nations Counter-Terrorism Department and we have also established a training department within the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority training center and with Nigerian College of Aviation Technology to further strengthen aviation security.”
Sirika said, “I wish to restate our cooperation with all the nations in this matter and also that, this is our own understanding of the philosophy of ‘No Country Left Behind’ of ICAO.”
The participants in the three-day conference include the Ministers of Transport/Aviation, and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCS) of the International Civil Aviation, Organization (ICAO) Member States, Air Force Instruction (AFI) and AFI-MID Regional Organizations, Regional Civil Aviation bodies and international organizations including ICAO and United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (UN-CTED).
The conference comprise of two parts: a Senior Officials Meeting in which p a draft regional roadmawill be developed while taking in account aviation security challenges and the targets of GASeP and the Ministerial Conference that will reaffirm the need to enhance implementation of international aviation security standard.