From Uche Usim, Abuja
With the COVID-19 pandemic jolting global businesses, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has urged the aviation sector to brace up for the challenge and design strategies to operate efficiently.
Speaking at the opening of a four-day capacity building retreat for senior management staff of the Ministry and its parastatals in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Tuesday, Sirika noted that adapting to the current realities was necessary as the sector cannot afford to take a back seat nor derail from the implementation of the roadmap being pursued by the ministry.
According to him, ‘the aviation sector in 2020 was the worst affected by the pandemic. This happened at a time when the sector became, in 2019, the fastest-growing sector of the Nigerian economy, signifying that our modest effort and Roadmap is not only in the right direction but yielding the right results.
‘I noticed that included in the retreat objectives was a discussion on issues and challenges on the implementation of the aviation roadmap. I will urge the retreat to treat and dissect the aviation sector Roadmap to digest its content and facilitate its implementation.’
The minister implored the participants to come up with a framework for improving the relationship between the Ministry and its agencies to the level that will not only achieve a very high level of implementation of the roadmap but will also smoothen the inter-Agency relationship.
The Chairman, Savannah Centre for Development and Training, facilitators of the retreat, Mr Abidu Yazid, observed that whatever was being done in the aviation industry, there was a need for partnership and acquisition of knowledge for the industry to succeed.
He said synergy was key to the realisation of objectives where more than one player is involved in driving policies and used the aviation sector as an example of an industry where symbiosis can not be dispensed with.
He commended the aviation minister for leading the sector from the front and not shying away from taking responsibilities and embarking on projects and programmes for the ultimate benefit of the Nigerian aviation industry.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Hassan Musa, said that aviation was a very peculiar sector which is subjected to international regulation and audit, which means that all activities are measured by international standards.
According to him, the retreat was organised in order to forge the synergy that would facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the aviation Roadmap, which, on its own, is geared towards the overall development of the sector.
The theme of the retreat was: “The Ministry of Aviation and its Parastatals: A symbiotic relationship for National Development, Growth and Progress”.