Nnamdi Azikiwe-International Airport, Abuja

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika says the aviation sector is the second fastest growing sector in the country.

He made the declaration while briefing State House Correspondents on decisions reached at the weekly cabinet meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Sirika, who said he briefed the Federal Executive Council on achievements of his ministry, noted that the aviation sector will bounce back after COVID 19 because it has the tendency to withstand challenges, as witnessed in the past.

“The Ministry of Aviation submitted its report, primarily this report is centred around and approved aviation sector roadmap that has been implemented since 2015. We showed a very important graph during the course of the presentation and that showed the resilience of civil aviation in terms of crisis because it has been tested during the oil crisis of the 70s, the Iran-Iraq war, the gulf war, the Asian crisis, the 9/11, the SARS; and so COVID19 will create a dimple on air transportation but it will go back up the graph.

“Also, we showed that the implementation of that roadmap has done a great deal of job for civil aviation. The sector grew in the last quarter of 2019, by 15 per cent as presented by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. It is the second-fastest-growing sector and we believe it is due to the diligent implementation of that roadmap,” he said.

The Minister said the ministry has earmarked about 40 projects to be completed in line with its mandate.

“We have identified forty projects that need to be completed and we are at various stages of completing them,” he said.

Sirika announced that by the last quarter of next year, the government will finish the concession of the four major airports in the country, adding that preparations for the floating of Nigeria’s national carrier are at an advanced stage.

He also said the aviation sector has the capacity to create 241, 000 jobs, as a way of addressing unemployment in the country. (VON)