For the first time in its 56 years of nationhood, a whopping 152 International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) member states voted for Nigeria to secure Council seat in the Part II category at the on-going 39th Assembly of the world aviation regulatory body. This means that Nigeria will be a member of the Council for the next three years before another election.
Expressing his elation, the Minister of State (Aviation) Sen. Hadi Sirika said, “I feel great, I feel that Nigeria has taken its rightful place. We are being elected into Part II yet again. Nigeria has been in this council since 1962. We have been contributing our quota and aviation has taken the centre stage now in the world especially post 9/11. Security has come to centre stage without diminishing safety”.
After the election, the ICAO President, Dr. O.B. Aliu paid a visit to the Nigeria office in the ICAO headquarters to congratulate Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Permanent Secretary and aviation chief executives present on the success of the election. Also, the Secretary-General of African Civil Aviation Commission, AFCAC Ms. I yabo Sosina congratulate Nigeria, urging the country to put effort in the development of aviation.
According to ICAO, “Each Member State is entitled to one vote on matters before the Assembly, and decisions at these Sessions are taken by a majority of the votes cast – except where otherwise provided for in the Convention”.
In his words of appreciation to Africa and other countries that voted Nigeria into the council for another three years, Sirika said: “I thank them very much and I thank the entire nations that voted Nigeria. Most importantly I thank the Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari who in the first place allowed and approved that Nigeria stand for the election. He gave us all the necessary support and has yielded good result”.
Assuring the country’s role in the sub-region Sirika said, “Nigeria has long ago endorsed the “No Country Left Behind” initiative of ICAO. Nigeria has been supporting aviation industry in the sub-region. We have Banjul Accord and BAGASSO domiciled in Nigeria and headquartered in Nigeria and being funded largely by Nigeria. Nigeria will continue to play the key role in leading aviation in the West and Central Africa”.