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Nigerian emerges ICAO president

By on November 21, 2013

A Nigerian, Dr. Olumuyiwa Aliu, has emerged the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

Aliu, who was elected at the 38th Assembly of the global body on Monday, is the first African to head the organisation.

Nigeria joined ICAO in 1960 and was elected into the Council of ICAO in 1962 as a Part II member state.

Stakeholders in the sector said it was a positive development for the Nigerian aviation sector, especially in the face of the numerous challenges facing the industry in the last few weeks.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr. Nnamdi Udoh, said in a statement that the election signalled the approval rating of all the efforts put in place by the Federal Government to improve air transport in the country.

He said, “The election of Aliu is another major positive development in Nigeria’s aviation sector. It shows the world is seeing the progress being made in the industry over the years.

“The move also shows that even while we attack ourselves at home, the world is taking cognisance of the improvement going on in our country’s aviation sector.”

The Aviation Minister, Ms. Stella Oduah, said Aliu’s election as ICAO president was another confirmation that the country’s aviation industry had made a tremendous progress in the last few years under the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration.

“It would not have happened if they (the international community) did not acknowledge and respect what we are doing to help advance our country’s aviation industry,” a statement quoted the minister as saying on Tuesday.

The Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konsult, Mr. Chris Aligbe, described Aliu’s election as a positive development for Nigeria.

He said the move was an indication of the increased effort of government aimed at improving safety in the airspace.

He said, “Today, the standard of the aviation sector is above the world average and in Africa we can hold our shoulders high. Now, we have incidents and occasional accidents but in the past aircraft were dropping from the sky due to poor infrastructure.

“Those things have been taken care of. The air traffic control has improved; we have radar which helps to give the pilot the right course to his destination and our weather prediction has improved tremendously.