UN to site aviation security training schools in Nigeria

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L-R: Sirika and Melvin at a meeting in Abuja

The United Nations has proposed to establish two aviation training institutes in Nigeria to turn around the country’s aviation sector to meet global standards in infrastructure, safety and security.

UN’s appointed project manager for the schools, Mr. Douglas Melvin who disclosed this in Abuja when he visited the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said the main objective of the project “is to support the nation’s overall counter-terrorism strategy by providing a key element of a robust national aviation security policy that mitigates effectively the threat posed to civil aviation by terrorist organizations and their operatives.”

“The choice of Nigeria, out of 25 countries considered, was in appreciation of its clear and well documented roadmap on 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. Such other benefits include 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,” said Melvin.

Besides, he said the initiative will enhance the capacity within the UN system to help interested Member States to implement the UN’s Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner.

That, according to him involves assisting the partnering Member States with their implementation of the strategy across all four topical pillars, which address the multiple dimensions of countering terrorism, and utilizing assistance capacities and efforts from across the UN system.

He further said up-coming UN General Assembly would make a proclamation on aviation security with specific reference to Nigeria.

“This underscores the importance attached to the project as a flagship and high profile one which the country is privileged to be a beneficiary,” he said.

In his response, Sirika expressed appreciation to the UN for recognizing and identifying with the Nigerian government’s visions and efforts to establish and nurture a world class aviation industry that is basically founded on safety and security.

He assured that the government was ready to provide all that is necessary for effective take-off and operation of the two institutes which would be sited in Abuja and Lagos.

Sirika said the choice of Nigeria as the beneficiary of a UN training centre “is a boost to the nation’s desire to become a regional aviation hub and heighten investor confidence in the country.”

“Government’s decision to establish a ministerial committee on airport security on assumption of office, defines the importance it attaches to aviation security as a critical component of the overall national and international security system,” he added.

The project is to be fully funded by the UN and delivered by the United Kingdom Department of Transportation while Nigeria is expected to provide training premises and supply low-cost aviation training equipment.

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