The current position of Nigeria’s House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on bequeathing to Nigerians an aviation industry that is virile, safe and reliable has not changed, the committee chairman, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji has assured.
Honourable Nnaji gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday during his closing remarks at the end of the three-day public hearing on six amendment Bills on certain aspects of civil aviation Acts brought to the National Assembly by the executive arm of government.
“You may recall that during the committee’s inaugural meeting with the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the chief executives of the agencies under the Ministry, l told you that the committee will within the framework of the legislative agenda of the 9th Assembly strive to bequeath to Nigerians an aviation industry that is virile, safe and reliable. I want to assure you and everyone present in this hall that we will not renege in this promise”. He stressed.
He said the committee was quite aware of the place of aviation in the national economy and expectations of Nigerians from this committee as well as the members of the House of Representatives and its leadership and therefore we cannot afford to fail.
Honourable Nnaji stated further that, “this committee enjoys unfettered supports from the leadership and members of the House of Representatives, therefore we will have no reason to fail in over sighting this hi-tech industry effectively”.
The chairman also praised the resilience, determination and frankness exhibited by all the various groups and critical stakeholders throughout the public hearing.
According to him, the contributions at this public hearing have been very exhaustive and far reaching. From the discussions and memorandum submitted by the stakeholders it is pertinent to note the followings;
That we need Strong Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) that will effectively oversight the industry without executive interference, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA) with the capacity to take the nation’s air navigation services to the 21st technology and to support the aviation system block upgrade, (ASBU) as recommended by ICAO in document 9750- Global Air navigation plan (GAP), the need to upgrade the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology,(NCAT) to a degree awarding institution to enable it access Tertiary Education Tax Fund, (TETFUND) and the need to expand the revenue sources of the Nigerian Metrological Agency, (NIMET).
Also to be taken care of in the amendment is the restructuring of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in line the global best practices, to reposition the Accident Investigation Bureau, (AIB) as an agency that oversees accident investigation and prevention in all facets of transportation, to promote the growth of the local airline industry through legislation that will seek to block multiple entry designations for foreign airlines and to create consultative platforms between the agencies especially the NCAA and airlines to iron out areas of friction from time to time.
Honourable Nnaji thanked the participants at the public hearing saying,” I assure you that we as members of the parliament will not undermine your sacrifices and commitments towards these Bills amendment.
“One thing we shall take away from here is the fact that we all agree that our aviation industry deserves a better deal, so let us unite in spirit and in flesh to make it a reality. “We have to take our pride of place as the true giants of Africa, we have slept enough, it is time not only to wake up but to start running.”
He stressed that the roburst contributions and memoranda from the critical stakeholders would no doubt assist the committee in the final amendment process of the civil aviation Acts.
The chairman equally acknowledged the commitments of the members of the committee to the cause of building strong air transport sector adding, l cannot thank you enough for your commitment to this Committee and also your love for this country which have manifested expressly in the manner you have handled matters of national importance brought before this committee with passion and devoid of sentiments and sectionalism”.