Sirika Leads Delegation to Kampala, Uganda on direct air connectivity

Oru Leonard

As part of concerted efforts to boost bilateral trade in Africa, Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has led a delegation to Kampala, Uganda to hold talks with his counterpart, the Minister of Works and Transport of Uganda, Gen. Edward Katumba Kamala, to facilitate direct air connectivity between Nigeria and Uganda,

Gen. Kamala, who was on hand to receive the delegation, appreciated Senator Sirika for his physical presence as, according to him, it would afford both Ministers to provide the necessary political leadership that would facilitate the implementation of the Agreements reached during the meeting.

According to a statement made available to News Dot Africa by Dr. James Odaudu, Special Assistant to the Minister on Public Affairs, the meeting focused on the review of the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between both countries, which was signed in 2002 and reviewed in 2005.

It also focused on how to give the necessary administrative and technical support to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed during the last International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) Event which held in Abuja from 5th to 9th December, 2022.

Gen. Kamala, during the meeting, reiterated his Country’s quest for the operation of direct flight into Nigeria using its national carrier, the 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), located in Soroti, Ugandan. Equally, the Ugandan Aeronautical Authorities also solicited technical support from Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In his response, Senator 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 of Agriculture in facilitating the meeting.
He underscored the importance of air transportation, which he said remains the major veritable means of connecting the people of Africa and enhancing trade.
He stated that air transportation will do well in Africa with her population of over 1.37 Billion and urged African Nations to leverage the opportunity of Single Africa Air Transport Market ( SAATM) to attain the 2065 Africa Agenda.

He assured the Government of Uganda that Nigeria would do all she could do to ensure air connectivity becomes a reality as both countries have come a long way and promised positive responses to the requests made by Uganda.

In conclusion, he 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 Honourable Minister’s entourage were officials of Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority which included Director, Air Transport Management, Ministry of Aviation, Hassan Ejibunu; Sule Liman, Legal Adviser, Ministry of Aviation; Engr. Elisha Bahago, Director, Operations, Licensing, Training & Standards, NCAA; Capt. Chris Najomo, Director, Air Transport Regulations, NCAA; and Shehu Dogo, Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Aviation on Inter-Agency Relations.

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