Nigeria committed to Single African Air Transport Market-FG

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria is committed to the full implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), which will be inaugurated on Friday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

SAATM is a project of the African Union Agenda 2063, an initiative of the AU, to create a single unified air transport market in Africa where there will be the liberalization of civil aviation services and regulations in order to boost the continent’s economy growth.

Sirika made the disclosure during the sensitization workshop on SAATM organized by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with the theme: “Implementation of SAATM: It’s Impact on the Nigerian Aviation Industry and National Economy,” at the NCAA Annex Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The Minister who was represented by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, stated that SAATM, would be inaugurated during the AUC meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He stressed that Nigeria and Africa at large must take advantage of the potentials inherent in SAATM and the Yamoussoukro Decision (YD) to enhance traffic connectivity and significant growth in passengers’ volumes over the next few years.

In his words: “We must all therefore strive to commit to the full implementation of SAATM, we need to leap forward so as to become an effective global competitor in aviation.

“In this regard, Nigeria being one of the pioneer Member States signatories to YD, is one of the 23 states that have so far made solemn commitment to the implementation of SAATM by 2018.

“We have constituted a National implementation committee to review all the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) to be in consonance with the YD while the process of domesticating the decision is currently at the advance stage.

The minister said currently, some of the International airports were being expanded with the addition of new terminals to enable Nigeria become an effective player in SAATM.

He said the government had also approved the concession of the major international airports in its efforts to reposition them for better service delivery.

“At this juncture, I will like to reiterate the importance of working together towards achieving the AU agenda 2063 in the area of Air transportation integration through the full Implementation of SAATM.

“This will boost inter-Africa trade, tourism, infrastructural developments and other socio-economic benefits for our sub-region,” Sirika stressed.

Speaking in the same vein, the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, said the importance and benefits of SAATM to African aviation are numerous.

According to him, it is imperative that we organize this sensitization workshop to intensify awareness campaign among the critical stakeholders on the impact as well as benefits of SAATM on the industry and national economy.

He said: “In this regard, I wish to enjoin all stakeholders to come together to improve the aviation support base in Nigeria and embrace the opportunities that SAATM brings,”

In order to move the continent forward towards the concrete implementation of the AU Agenda 2063, the 24th Assembly of Head of States and Government, which took place between Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, adopted the Declaration on the Establishment of a SAATM.

Eleven African Member States championed the Declaration by signing the Solemn Commitment to actualize the Yamoussoukro Decision creating the single market.


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