DR. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu has been re-elected President of the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) yesterday in Montreal , Canada for the next three years another landmark achievements in the aviation industry.
Aliu’s re-election, coming on the heels of the country’s election into the world body’s “Part 2′ Category during its General Assembly in September, was without opposition, as he was the only one nominated at the close of submissions.
However, the election had to be affirmed through a voice vote which recorded no dissent from any of the members of the Council.
Addressing members of the Council after his election, Dr Aliu who will occupy the world aviation number one office for another three years, thanked them for re-affirming their confidence in him through the election and promised to be more committed to the ideals of the International Civil Aviation Organization.
He also gave assurance that he would continue to pursue such programmes as would bring the aviation world together as one, commitment to ensuring the safety, security, comfort and profitability of the industry through relevant support for Member-nations.
According to him, the Organization’s ‘No-Country-Left-Behind’ programme which he introduced, would remain cardinal in his drive to reposition the world aviation industry, and called on members to remain committed in honouring their duties and obligations to the Organization.
In his acceptance remark, Dr Aliu said, “Over the past three years, ICAO has been working tirelessly to promote the importance of civil aviation to socio-economic development, as well as its prioritization in national and regional investment and development planning,”
Reacting to Aliu’s re-election, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who was invited to address the Council expressed the gratitude of the Nigerian government for the support he had enjoyed over the past years .
According to Sirika, Aliyu’s re-election was a mark of recognition for his hard work and commitment to the ideals of the Organization and aspirations of the Member-nation’s who have come to see him as the arrowhead of the much desired reforms and developmentsin the Aviation Sector.
He further described it as a welcome development set to further boost the nation’s rising profile within the international community, especially in the aviation industry.
The Minister also said that the development would also make it difficult for the Nigerian government to relent in its commitment to reform the nation’s aviation industry, as the focus of the world constantly be on it to also provide leadership amongst nations.
The Aviation Minister had, prior to the election , led Nigerian delegation on a Courtesy visit to Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu pledging the nation’s continued support.
“I am indeed humbled and honoured to be with you in this hallow chamber and to witness the election of Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu. A Nigerian, an African and world aviator as president of ICAO Council for a second term in office. On behalf of my delegation, the government and good people of Nigeria as well as entire people of Africa. I wish to thank you very much indeed for your support and the election of Dr. O.B. Aliu. “
Appreciating the significance of trust bestowed on Dr. Aliu, Sirika said, “For the world after 9/11 to trust and put confidence in one of us to oversee the world of aviation is extremely very significant. And for us without a doubt we want to assure you that this your action of today will be recognised in the future actions of Dr. Bernard Aliu and you will certainly not be disappointed.”
“The last three years was quite challenging for our industry globally. Despite the significant progress that has been recorded, the issue of Flight MH370 still remain a mystery, the threat of Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, the increase in terrorist attacks at our airports and the need to take meaningful action on the issue of environment were major challenges that confronted the global air transport industry. The prompt way and decisive manner which the council led the organisation to manage these solutions and addresses these challenges indeed greatly built the confidence of member states and the industry in the leadership of ICAO.
“Apart from addressing these challenges, the Council came up with number of unprecedented initiatives which have enhanced safety, security efficiency and air connectivity. one of such initiatives is the ‘No Country Left Behind’ which has increased effective implementation of ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices and has helped many states to overcome their significant safety concerns. The Council and indeed the entire organisation were able to accomplish these momentous milestone achievement, not only because of the style and leadership qualities of Dr. Aliu but also due to your cooperation, support and collaboration.”
“I therefore wish to use this medium and opportunity to solicit for this continued support and collaboration as the entire world especially 191 member states of ICAO have great expectations not only from Dr. Aliu as President of the Council but from the Council as a body collectively.
“Nigeria and the entire continent of Africa believe that in order to consolidate on the achievement of last three years and as well as position member states and the industry to cope with projected traffic growth and emerging issues, the Council must continue to operate as one indivisible body. This is the only way that ICAO can continue to provide required leadership to promote safe, secure, efficient and environmentally-friendly civil aviation globally and ensure that all member states partake in the socio-economic benefits of air transportation.”-Sirika concluded.