The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has called on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to ensure the revival of the Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF), which has become inactive in the past four years.
In his remarks on Monday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the 7th Africa-Indian Ocean (AFI) Aviation Week 2022 organised by ICAO, in conjunction with NCAA, Sirika said that the HRDF was necessary for the growth of the sector in Africa and other developing nations.
He appealed to the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) and other stakeholders on the continent to pressurise the ICAO Secretary-General to use his good office to revive the fund which has remained inactive since 2018.
According to Sirika, Nigeria is one of the major contributors to the fund, which primary purpose is to train technical personnel for the industry.
He stressed that personnel trained in this programme had gained tremendous knowledge of the industry in the past.
The fund, the minister stated, would assist them (African states) to better meet the human resource needs required for operational efficiency and continuous implementation of ICAO’s Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
“I wish to seize this opportunity to appeal to member states here present and the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) to call on the ICAO Secretary-General to use his good offices to revive the ICAO Human Resource Development Fund (HRDF) which has remained inactive since 2018,” he said.
“Nigeria generously contributed to this fund and equally benefited from the inaugural secondment of officers to ICAO under this programme. The exposure, experience, and knowledge gained by the officers attest to the usefulness of the HRDF programme.”
Sirika reiterated the support of Nigeria to ICAO’s initiatives and collaboration with member states and development partners on the development of air transport in Africa.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Musa Nuhu, on his part, pointed out that air transportation has the potential to accelerate the social-economic growth and development of states, which was further brought to the fore by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He lamented that two years after the outbreak of COVID-19, the global aviation industry was still struggling to fully recover from its impact.
Nuhu emphasised that the experience of the last two years has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry could only be realised through cooperation, collaboration, and coordination among stakeholders.
He hoped that the weeklong event would further enhance the collective efforts within the region in the areas of aviation safety, security, and facilitation.
The highlight of the event was the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between Nigeria and Sierra Leone, and Rwanda.