By Tobi Adetunji
The Federal Government of Nigeria is to host ICAO Air Services Negotiation in the year 2022.
This followed its consideration as a good candidate at this year event in Bogota, Colombia.
According to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while accepting the offer he said, “I will like to personally send the greeting of Mr President Muhammadu Buhari to you all and especially the Government and people of Colombia.
“On behalf of our nation Nigeria, it is more than an honour that we are considered as a good candidate that will host ICAO 2022.
“We accept this offer and I can assure you that you will have a very good time to see the culture, history, traditions, people and places in Nigeria just like you did during ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF/3) and the ICAO Workshop on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) sometimes ago in Nigeria.”
Commending ICAO on the events, he said, “imagine travelling to 70 or more countries negotiating air services agreements and concluding on certain agreements. It is a very noble idea by ICAO to have a one-stop-shop for all of us to sit here and share common visions, negotiate, and of course, arrive at mutual agreements and understanding for effective management of civil aviation around the world.”
Sirika said civil aviation is in a difficult circumstance because of the global pandemic (COVID-19) facing the world, but as the tradition by civil aviation, it has always survived it, citing Spanish fluid, 9/11 and many other pandemics.
It’s fundamental to note that ICAO Air Negotiation events provide states with a central meeting place to conduct multiple and bilateral (regional and plurilateral) air services negotiations or consultations.
It offers a forum for the participants to learn about current trends, discuss and exchange experiences, as well as provide excellent networking opportunities.
According to Sirika, the proposed hosting of ICAO 2022 also underscores Nigeria’s rising profile within the aviation world.
He said the hosting of ICAO by the country, coming after it hosted the IWAF/3 and the ICAO Symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) is a clear indication of the Organisation’s confidence in Nigeria’s aviation management, and an endorsement by the world body of its reform programmes for the sector.
He reiterated that the confidence shown by ICAO would further push the commitment of government to the full and successful implementation of its roadmap to reposition the sector.