Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, at the weekend, asked stakeholders in the sector to explore the benefits of the Yamoussoukro Decision for greater air transport connectivity across the African continent.
Sirika, who gave this charge in Accra, Ghana at the 10th African Air Transport Safety and Security Summit held over the weekend, noted that safe, secure and efficient customer focused air transport system remained the benefit of sound aviation.
He,said connectivity will play a critical role in the development of African economics, adding that the Abuja declaration that set a target for African airlines to reach world class safety levels by 2015, is another declaration that must be achieved if aviation should thrive in Africa.
According to the minister, “Connectivity is vital for African growth and development, supporting about 6.9 million jobs and $80.5 billion in economic activityand hoped that it will closely knit relationship with seamless connectivity between Nigeria and Ghana in the near future.
Sirika, who was represented by the director of safety in the ministry, Captain Taba Alkali, traced the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria to over several decades which has led to the exchange of knowledge and friendship through many bilateral partnerships in the area of personnel training, expertise and information sharing.
He charged airlines to live up to their responsibility of ensuring travelers confidence in the sector though the service provided to the public.
Sirika, while saying that socio-political and cultural ties have been made possible and galvanized by a robust Bilateral Air services Agreement, said that no less than three Nigerian airlines with the fourth commencing operations shortly, business connections, leisure, among others, will be strengthened.
Sirika commended the Ghanaian ministry of transport and the professionalism of the highest standard exhibited by the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority in allowing the implementation of the Yamoussoukro decision between Nigeria and Ghana.
He noted that significant progress has been made in the Abuja declaration with airlines meeting deadline, stressed the need for synergy between government regulators and operators to ensure that goals were achieved.
Describing air transport as the most efficient and effective means of transportation for people and high value low volume goods for the West African continent stressed the need for improved infrastructure, upgrade facilities and trained personnel to the highest level of proficiency and professionalism