President restates commitment to improving aviation infrastructure for economic development

President Muhammadu Buhari

• Nigeria to reap investment inflow after ICAO forum, says minister
• AfDB to invest $300b in African infrastructure

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the determination of his administration to speed up the improvement of aviation infrastructure for the benefit of the country’s economic development.

The President, who spoke while receiving the President of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Dr. Muyiwa Babatunde Aliu and his African Development Bank counterpart, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, among others, at the State House, Abuja, declared government’s commitment to work with regulatory agencies in the aviation sector to make air travel safer in the country.

Buhari, who received three awards recently won by Nigeria from ICAO, expressed delight with the high ranking accorded the nation in safety and security at the airports following measures put in place to address gaps in airport security.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who led the ICAO delegation, told Buhari that Nigeria would be hosting the meeting of International World Aviation Forum in Abuja starting from tomorrow, the first time such conference will hold anywhere outside Montreal, Canada.

Sirika, who stated that over 40 aviation ministers and representatives from 70 countries, the World Bank, African Development Bank (AFDB), manufacturers of planes and aviation equipment would attend this year’s conference focusing on “Financing Development of Aviation Infrastructure,” said Nigeria stands the chance to record huge investment benefits after the forum.

He commended Buhari for fast-tracking policy initiatives that changed the fortunes of air travel in Nigeria, describing the reconstruction of the runway at the Abuja airport as a rare feat.

However, Nigeria has welcomed members of the international aviation community attending the forum to a colourful cultural display, showcasing the rich traditions of the northern part of the country.

The cultural display, which kicked off the three-day ICAO forum, also witnessed a novelty polo match to the delight of the visitors.

The durbar and polo match, held at the Polo Guard, Aso Drive, Abuja, had colourful and heavily-geared herdsmen, farmers, horsemen, warriors, trumpeters and cultural dance troops on display.

Meanwhile, Adesina has said that AfDB will help Nigeria and Africa generally to tackle the over $300 billion aviation infrastructure deficit.



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