UN To Establish Aviation Training Institutes In Nigeria

United Nations has decided to establish two Aviation Security Training Schools in Nigeria to help boost safety and security in the country’s aviation sector.

Federal-Airports-Authority-of-Nigeria-FAAN

Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, Mr James Odaudu, announced the plan in a statement in Abuja Thursday.

The United Nations-appointed Project Manager for the schools, Douglas Melvin, made the disclosure when he visited the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, in Abuja, according to Odaudu.

Melvin said the main objective of the project was to support the nation’s overall counter-terrorism strategy by providing a key element of a robust national aviation security policy.

He said that this would help to mitigate effectively the threat posed to civil aviation by terrorist operatives and their organisations.

Melvin said the initiative would also enhance the capacity within the UN system to help interested member states implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner.

He said the objective also involved assisting the partnering member states with the implementation of their strategy in addressing the multiple dimensions of countering terrorism.

Melvin added that the choice of Nigeria out of 25 countries considered was in appreciation of its clear roadmap in developing the aviation sector, with particular emphasis on safety and security.

“The country stands to reap more benefits than the training of its aviation security personnel by the best available security experts, Melvin said.

He said other benefits included the provision of, and exposure to hi-tech aviation security equipment and the generation of revenue from training of aviation security personnel from other countries.

The UN representative also informed the minister that the forthcoming UN General Assembly was billed to make a proclamation on aviation security with specific reference to Nigeria.
He said the step underscored the importance attached to the project as a flagship and high profile one which the country was privileged to be a beneficiary.

Responding, Sirika commended the UN for recognising and identifying with the government’s vision and efforts to establish and nurture a safe and secure world class aviation industry.

He assured him of government’s readiness to provide all that was needed for the effective take-off and operation of the two institutes to be located in Abuja and Lagos.

The minister emphasised the need for an integrated international counter-terrorism strategy which the organisation was set to address through the establishment of the schools.

He also described the choice of Nigeria for the institutes as a massive boost to the nation’s desire to become a regional aviation hub.

“The project is to be fully funded by the UN and delivered by the UK Department of Transportation.

“Nigeria is expected to participate in the provision of training premises and supply of low-cost aviation training equipment, among others,” he said.

Meanwhile, Federal Government has been told to stop forthwith the planned concession of four airports in the country.

One of the leading unions in the Nigerian aviation industry, National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, warned that if the government didn’t stop the plan, it would call out the workers on industrial action against the government.

A communiqué signed by the General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye at the end of the union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara State, recently, said that the unions kicked against the move because the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, did not follow the extant rules, due process, social dialogue with stakeholders and other extant agencies connected with civil aviation in and out of Nigeria on the plan.

NUATE hinted that the four airports slated for concession; Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja are the only viable airports out of 22 owned and controlled by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

The union called for immediate stoppage of the concession plan to avoid industrial crisis that may arise, emphasising that government had failed to carry along stakeholders on the important matter.

Rather, the communiqué wanted the government to implement the recommendation of a verification exercise, which recommended proper staff placement in the agency.

The union also called for suspension of employment of Grade Level 10 officers and above in FAAN, declaring that such had been a drain-pipe on the agency.

The communiqué added, “Following the verification exercise carried out by government at FAAN and other aviation agencies, to determine proper structural balance in recruitment and placement of (certain political) appointees into positions in these agencies, the NEC in session hereby demands full implementation of the committees report already approved by the minister, to ensure proper staff placement, avoid current career disconnect, mistrust and correct the administrative incongruities caused by the irregular employment of these political jobbers.

Source: nationalmirroronline.net

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