Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has stressed that the implementation of the proposed African Union Passport will facilitate the effective take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.
Sirika made this call during the maiden implementation engagement series for the aviation industry by Nigeria’s National Action Committee on the implementation of the AfCFTA.
According to him, fasttracking the implementation of AUP will eliminate the requirement for visa and facilitate easy movement for businesses or frequent flyers across the continent.
The minister also called for the implementation of Single African Air Transport Market.
He explained that for effective implementation of AfCFTA in the aviation sector, the National Action Committee needed to look into challenges in the implementation of SAATM itself.
“The whole essence of civil aviation is to create efficiency in journeys as we advocate for the strengthening of African Civil Aviation Commission to harmonise civil aviation regulations for aviation service providers to actualise the Yamoussoukro Decision, as well as SAATM, which is the flagship project for the African Union Agenda 2063,” he said.
He stressed the need to enforce appropriate regulations for equal opportunities to all stakeholders and fair competition.
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, has explained that Nigeria, being the dominant market in West and Central Africa and a major market in the continent, has excellent opportunities and potential, which have not been largely exploited over the years.
It is a significant opportunity for Nigerian airline operators to go into the cargo business and transport these goods massively, and in a few hours, to their destination countries.
Funke Adeyemi, director for Africa with the International Air Transport Association, who convened the engagement, noted aviation as an accelerator and the only sector that could traverse borders quickly and safely because of the technical standards put in place since 1945.