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VENTURES AFRICA – The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced the election of Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu as its new council president, making him the first African to attain the position.
Dr Aliu’s election followed a unanimous agreement of 36 states which comprise ICAO’s Governing Council, at the body’s 200th session in Montreal, Canada.
“I look forward to working with my Council colleagues over the next triennium, with the support of the ICAO Air Navigation Commission and Secretariat, as we seek to address aviation’s key areas of priority,” Aliu enthused.
He said that the industry has the duty to expand tourism and market access which were important to global economic players who rely so significantly today on safe and dependable air transport connectivity.
Prior to his new election, Dr Aliu who is succeeding Mexican Roberto González, served for eight years as the ICAO Council’s Nigerian Representative (2005-2013), an official statement read.
Stakeholders have hailed the election, saying it will in no small measure raise Nigeria’s aviation bar in global market.
Nnamdi Udoh, managing director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said that it signals the approval rating of all the efforts put in place by the Federal Government to improve air transport in Nigeria.
“It shows the world is seeing the progress being made in the industry over the years” Udoh said.
Also commenting, CEO of Centre for Aviation Research and Safety, Sheri Kyari, said the election would create awareness for other African countries to improve air safety.
Aliu becomes the fifth President of the ICAO Council in the almost 70-year history of the specialized United Nations aviation agency, which is responsible for the Convention on International Civil Aviation (Chicago Convention) and the over 10,000 international civil aviation standards contained in the Convention’s Annexes, the statement read.