The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the signing of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and Kuwait. The aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this when he spoke with journalists at the end of the council’s weekly meeting in Abuja. He explained that the agreement will serve as a gateway for seamless airline services between both countries which is in line with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
“That memo has to do with the signing of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement between the Federal republic of Nigeria and the State of Kuwait. In that memorandum as approved, the text was earlier on initialled and was cleared by the Federal Ministry of Justice,” the minister said.
Mr Sirika said, “It provided that the content of the agreement should have reciprocal rights and privileges for both countries and airlines involved. This will open up opportunities for air transportation between the two countries, in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) convention of 7th December 1944, to which both countries are signatories.”
He denied that over N14 billion had been spent on the planned floating of a national carrier for the country. The minister assured citizens that Nigeria Air will be a reality and that it will be introduced for the benefit of Nigeria and the rest of Africa.
Mr Sirika said the Council also approved a contract for the hiring of consultants for revalidation and collection of aviation height clearance for high rise buildings and masts that can obstruct flight operations in Nigeria. He said the contract will run at no cost to the budget because the revenues accrued there-in will be used to pay the consultants.
“We got approval for the award of contract for the engagement of consultants for revalidation and collection of aviation height clearance on behalf of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The contract was approved with a scale and at no cost to the budget,” Mr Sirika said.
He said, “The revenues derived therefrom will be used to pay the consultants 0-1 billion (7%); 1.1-2.5 billion, 5% and 2.5-5 billion is 3%.”
“There have been instances in Nigeria where we had air crashes in the past due to communication masts like the one in Jos-Plateau State. Having masts around the airport, or its vicinity or even a building, so long as it causes unsafe operations, that need to be regulated by the NCAA,” he said.
Going forward, the minister said the consultants will go after people with such masts or buildings, to ensure they abide by the regulations.