Two Aviation Security Training Schools are set to be established by the United Nations (UN) in Nigeria in order to help boost safety and security in the country’s aviation sector.
This was revealed in a statement made by Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, Mr James Odaudu, in Abuja on Thursday.
According to Odaudu, the United Nations-appointed Project Manager for the schools, Douglas Melvin, made the disclosure when he visited the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, in Abuja.
Melvin said the main objective of the project was to support the nation’s overall counter-terrorism strategy by providing a key element of a robust national aviation security policy.
He said that this would help to mitigate effectively the threat posed to civil aviation by terrorist operatives and their organisations.
Melvin said the initiative would also enhance the capacity of the UN system to help interested member states implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in an integrated manner.
He said the objective also involved assisting the partnering member states with the implementation of their strategy in addressing the multiple dimensions of countering terrorism.
Melvin added that the choice of Nigeria out of 25 countries considered was in appreciation of its clear roadmap in 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,” Melvin said.
He said other benefits included the provision of, and exposure to hi-tech aviation security equipment and the generation of revenue from the training of aviation security personnel from other countries.
The UN representative also informed the minister that the forthcoming UN General Assembly was billed to make a proclamation on aviation security with specific reference to Nigeria.
He said the step underscored the importance attached to the project as a flagship and high profile one which the country was privileged to be a beneficiary.
Sirika commended the UN for recognising and identifying with the government’s vision and efforts to establish and nurture a safe and secure world-class aviation industry.
He assured him of government’s readiness to provide all that was needed for the effective take-off and operation of the two institutes to be located in Abuja and Lagos.
The minister emphasised the need for an integrated international counter-terrorism strategy which the organisation was set to address through the establishment of the schools.
He also described the choice of Nigeria for the institutes as a massive boost to the nation’s desire to become a regional aviation hub.
“The project is to be fully funded by the UN and delivered by the UK Department of Transportation.
“Nigeria is expected to participate in the provision of training premises and supply of low-cost aviation training equipment, among others,” he said.