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Sirika seeks ICAO’s intervention on revival of HRDF

By Benjamin Alade
17 May 2022   |   3:19 am
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has appealed to member states and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to call on the Secretary General, International Civil Aviation Organisation....

Hadi Sirika

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has appealed to member states and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to call on the Secretary General, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Juan Carlos Salazar to use his good offices to revive the ICAO Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), which has remained inactive since 2018.

Sirika said Nigeria generously contributed to the fund and equally benefited from the inaugural secondment of officers to ICAO under the programme. The exposure, experience and knowledge gained by the officers attest to the usefulness of the HRDF programme.

Sirika stated this at the seventh Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Aviation Week and the ninth Directors General of Civil Aviation Authorities (DGCAA) meeting yesterday, in Abuja.

He said Nigeria would continue to support ICAO’s initiatives and collaborate with member states and development partners on the development of air transport in Africa.

He also stressed the need to address the issue of financing and modernisation of aviation infrastructure in line with the historic Declaration and Framework for Plan of Action for Aviation Infrastructure Development in Africa adopted at the ICAO World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja in 2017.

“It is important to recall that in accordance with ICAO Assembly Resolution A40-9, Appendix C Section II Article 7, the implementation of this declaration should be done under the AFI Plan and I hope this is on the agenda for this event.

“Today, we are also going to witness the signing of the MoU between Singapore and AFCAC to support training programmes for aviation in Africa. On behalf of the Government of Nigeria and other African member states, I take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Singapore for their partnership with AFCAC and commitment to ensure development of international civil aviation, particularly in Africa,” he said.

In his remarks, Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, said the experience of the last two years has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

“I am therefore optimistic that this event, which is a combination of many meetings, will further enhance the collective efforts within the AFI region in the areas of aviation safety, security and facilitation.”

While thanking ICAO for providing direction and leadership to States during the pandemic, he emphasized the gathering is an opportunity not just to listen to ICAO’s efforts and standards in the areas of aviation safety, security and facilitation, but for stakeholders to identify challenges, which have been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic, and also collectively proffer practical regional solutions and strategies to addressing them.

Nuhu said this is the only way to come up with conclusions and recommendations that would enhance speedy recovery of the industry from the impact of COVID-19 and chart new and practical direction not just to enhance the development and growth of air transportation in the region, but to also boost trade and tourism.

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