Posted by Sade Williams
Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha has said that Nigeria’s aviation industry has received unprecedented support from the Federal Government due to its critical role in economic development.
This position was corroborated by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who said significance of civil aviation in the scheme of things, especially as it relates to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of an economy cannot be over-emphasised.
Mustapha, who disclosed this in his keynote address as the special guest of honour at the just concluded 12th edition of the Nigeria Aviation (NIGAV) Award held at the Murtala Muhhamed international Airport, Lagos through his representative Mrs. Foluke Joshua said: “Aviation has remained in the centre stage of president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’.
According the SGF, “this administration has taken very radical steps to re-establish Nigeria’s presence in the global airspace by setting up a new national carrier while opening room for private sector-led sustainable aviation business development, through concession plan of some terminals of Nigeria airports.”
“I want to sincerely appreciate Mr. Fortune Idu, the Chairman of FCI International Ltd, NIGAV Centre and the organiser of this annual national event for his consistency drive to promote excellence in the sector. I would also like to commend the effort of his team and the committee of the Nigerian Aviation development promotion award, known as NIGAV Committee, for making this a yearly opportunity for uniting the industry. It is important to stress here that Nigeria aviation over the past eight years has a sustained development and safe operations.”, he said.
While applauding the inputs of stakeholders to the event, Mustapha revealed that the administration has also invested heavily in infrastructure development of the sector, to give it the safety backbone to operate adding that full success of this aviation development programs were still work in progress as the nation moves close to a new era.
“Aviation will continue to play its major role in facilitating economic activities and bridging connectivity gap, as a social infrastructure and as a facilitator of global trade. It is therefore important that the coming of a new era will continue in a sustainable manner to optimise the gai of the present administration. This is the duty of the industry experts to make that the industry continues to grow and remain globally competitive NIGAV has help to champion the course of better service delivery. By promoting healthy competition, it enhances the performances of the industry and serves as a monitoring mechanism to balance service delivery with customers’ expectations in line with internationally-acceptable standards.”
Sirika, in the same vein, re-emphasised that the aviation sector under Buhari’s administration was very concerned about the safety of the sector.
The Minister, who cinched Aviation Man of the Year award, noted the administration has put in place several things that has to do with safety but may not tangible.
“The passenger is worried about air-conditioner, lifts, toilets and the ecstatics. They are very important items, they must work, it is part of passenger facilitation. But if you happen to be a policy maker or the manager of the scarce resources and if you happen to be a core aviator, then your focus will be more on the safety and security and the efficiency of the sector, as against the ecstatics
“I am not claiming that we are not paying attention to those, the testimony that we have lots and lots on terminal buildings, especially the big 4 with Enugu coming up, makes a huge statement as to our attention to those things that we think are second grade of our activities”
Sirika explained that for 15 years, the runway 18 left which has been without airfield lighting and reduced to daylight operation came alive and became functional.
In his welcome address, the Chairman organising committee Mr. Fortune Idu said the year 2022 was a tough year with a succession of economic disruptions that eroded the gains of the quick recovery from the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic.
Idu said Nigeria’s Aviation sector was not insulated from this disruption as the high cost of energy and unstable exchange rate held the industry hostage, but noted that the industry recorded remarkable growth that made it one of the fastest growing sectors in Nigeria.
“It is therefore, very important for us to acknowledge the relentless efforts and contributions of all those who have helped towards this remarkable achievement”
“The theme ‘the coming of a new era’ is an acknowledgment that we are on the verge of a new administration which may come with new policies or a variance of the old, it therefore requires that as professionals in a very technical and sensitive industry for us to be caught unprepared and to be alert to our responsibilities of guiding the industry to continue in the pathway of growth even in the new era”.
Idu explained that for the first time, the voted awards were completely electronic online voting with 1400 votes from both the industry and the flying public adding that they were gradually migrating into an online and internet based platform to set in place a more efficient, inclusive and credible selection process.
He thanked all those who took time to nominate and vote and urged those who were passive to accept in good faith whatever the outcome of our process brought as they can only make an impact by suggestions, nominations and voting.
He said NIGAV does not sell awards as they were aspiring to be Nigeria’s SKYRAX and want to make a positive change.
“We continuing to create true Nigeria aviation ambassadors out of Nigeria’s elegant and well respected cabin crew through the contest for The Nigeria King and Queen of the Air Crown. This joint airline contest is to promote best practice in in-flight safety and human management of passengers by the cabin crew. It is an industry unifying contest where all the contestants will emerge as Nigeria’s Air Ambassadors”.
The NIGAV AWARD is a celebration of aviation excellence with an objective to unify and create industry harmony. The Award which is tagged as Nigeria’s most prestigious air transport award has stood as an industry motivating factor for good performance and has also helped to engender healthy competition for safer air service.