Monday, March 20, 2023

Sirika Leads Delegation To Kampala, Uganda To Facilitate Direct Air Connectivity

Aviation Uganda
The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika (right) and his counterparts during the bilateral talks.

As part of concerted efforts to facilitate direct air connectivity between Nigeria and Uganda, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has led a delegation to Kampala, Uganda to hold talks with that country’s minister of works and transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Kamala to review the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between both countries, which was signed in 2002 and reviewed in 2005.
The special assistant to Sirika, Dr. James Odaudu, who disclosed that Gen. Kamala was on hand to receive the delegation, appreciated Sirika for his presence as, according to him, it would afford both ministers the necessary political leadership that would facilitate the implementation of the agreements reached during the meeting.
Also, it focused on how to give the necessary administrative and technical support to the memorandum of understanding (MoU) agreed upon during the last International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) event which was held in Abuja from December 5 to 9, 2022.
During the meeting, Gen. Kamala reiterated his country’s quest for the operation of direct flights into Nigeria using its national carrier, Uganda Airlines.
He also sought technical cooperation and collaboration between the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria and the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA) Soroti, Uganda. In turn, the Ugandan Aeronautical Authorities solicited technical support from Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
In his response, Sirika expressed his appreciation to his Ugandan counterpart for providing the atmosphere to host the meeting and acknowledged the roles played by the High Commissioner of Uganda to Nigeria and the Nigeria-Uganda Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NUCCIMA) in facilitating the meeting.
He underscored the importance of air transportation. According to him, it remains the major, veritable means of connecting Africans and enhancing trade.
Sirika stated that air transportation will do well in Africa, with its population of over 1.37 billion and urged African nations to leverage the opportunity of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to attain the 2065 Africa Agenda.
The minister assured the government of Uganda that Nigeria would do all it can to ensure that air connectivity becomes a reality as both countries have come a long way and promised positive responses to the requests made by Uganda.
Sirika lauded the excellent relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, as both leaders are united in ensuring that Africa and her people are prosperous and united on all fronts of human capital development.
On the minister’s entourage were officials of the Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority which included the director of air transport management, Ministry of Aviation, Hassan Ejibunu; Legal adviser, Ministry of Aviation, Sule Liman; Director of operations, licensing, training & standards, NCAA, Engr. Elisha Bahago; Director, air transport regulations, NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo and the special assistant to the minister of aviation on inter-agency relations, Shehu Dogo.

Oluchi Okorafor
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