The director general, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), Prof. Mansur Matazu, yesterday said dwindling aviation revenue due to Covid-19 pandemic is threatening safety and security in the sector.
Matazu said this at the 2021 Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Airport Council International-Africa (ACI-Africa), Safety Week.
The NiMET boss, however, lamented that despite recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, the aviation sector was still battling with dwindling revenue.
According to him, every effort to promote safety and security by any government must be encouraged saying government cannot do it alone as every industry player must come together to actualise security and safety as a culture in line with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)’s visit.
He said: “Despite the current recovery being recorded in the industry around the world, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still clearly visible with us. With dwindling revenue, funds to sustain security and safety are also limited. Hence, every effort to promote safety and security by any government must be encouraged.
“However, government alone cannot do this, every industry player must come together to actualise security and safety as a culture in line with the vision of ICAO. While we all work hard to build security and safety culture at our airports, we must not lose sight of safety at take-off, airborne and landing. This is largely dependent on the prevailing weather conditions at the airports and en route.”
Matazu, however, urged all stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector to support government’s effort in ensuring security and safety at the airports.
His words, “From the beginning to the end of every flight journey, weather events are critical. Hence, the importance of availability of adequate information regarding current and predicted weather cannot be overemphasised. NiMet is well committed to improving infrastructure and equipment for weather observation and forecasting.
“In a move to ensure that the giant steps taken and the gains made by the agency in the aviation sector in recent years are not eroded, on my assumption of office earlier this year, the management of NiMet constituted an Aviation Task Team.
“The work of the team is to assess and evaluate the state of our equipment and infrastructure including human resource, across all the airports in the country, and make recommendations where necessary, for improved safety and service delivery.”
“The Team has so far assessed the nation’s Airports at Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, Katsina, Kano, Port Harcourt and Calabar Airports. Assessments of other airports have also been scheduled to commence soon.”
“Even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry continues to operate at the forefront. The situation is no different in Nigeria where the federal government of Nigeria, through the federal ministry of aviation, continues to invest in the sector to ensure that our nation’s aviation is safe and secure for stakeholders and passengers.”