The president of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Council, Salvatore Siacchitano has restated the commitment of the organisation to partner with Nigeria in the establishment, provision of funding and faculty of the African Aviation and Aerospace University (AAAU) in Abuja.
A statement made available by the special assistant (public affairs) to the Minister of Aviation, James Odaudu said the ICAO president gave the assurance when Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika led the country’s delegation to the 41st General Assembly of the ICAO Council to his office at the organisation’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
According to him, ICAO would always be part of every effort geared towards addressing the manpower needs of member nations, to service and manage the ever-expanding aviation industry. Also, he asserted that Nigeria’s decision to establish the university is a welcome development.
The university, he said, would represent a new channel for the training of professional managers for the industry, especially within Africa, being the first of its kind in the continent.
He, therefore, promised to visit the site for the university during the forthcoming ICAO Air Negotiation (ICAN) to be hosted by Nigeria in December. The visit, according to him, will give him a clearer picture of the immediate needs and the level of participation of the organisation.
Siacchitano also used the visit to express ICAO’s appreciation to the government of Nigeria for its commitment to the ideals of the organisation at all times, saying that the acceptance to host the ICAN event was a clear demonstration of the said commitment.
Responding, Sirika expressed Nigeria’s gratitude to the ICAO council president for his reassurance of the council’s earlier pledge to be involved in the project, informing him that all the necessary regulatory requirements have been met and approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
He assured that the forthcoming ICAN event will be a resounding success, as the earlier ICAO events hosted by the country.
In a similar development, the government of Qatar expressed its readiness to participate in the establishment and running of the university to be established and sited located in Abuja.
That country’s Minister of Transport, Jassim Al-Sulaiti disclosed this in a meeting with Sirika on the sidelines of the ongoing 41st General Assembly of ICAO in Montreal, Canada.
According to the minister, the government of Qatar is excited to partner with Nigeria by providing some funding and training of her manpower in the university, as it will be a better option for his country.
Sirika thanked the Qatari minister for believing in the university project and said that the involvement of the country will further deepen the relationship between both countries.
Both ministers agreed to meet further to develop modalities for partnership in the project, given the interests being shown by some ICAO members and the organisation itself.