Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Tuesday, urged aviation stakeholders to tighten their belts and come up with survival strategies against the backdrop of the difficulties brought about the coronavirus pandemic in the industry.

This, he said has become necessary as the sector cannot afford to take back seat nor derail from the implementation of the aviation roadmap formulated by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to make Nigeria a leading player in the aviation sector locally and internationally.

The Minister stated this at the opening of a 4-day capacity building seminar for senior management staff of the Ministry and its Parastatals holding at the Ibom Hotel and Golf Resorts, Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital.

A statement signed by Jammes Odaudu, Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation quoted Sirika as saying “the aviation sector in 2020 was the worst affected by the pandemic. This happened at a time when the sector in 2019, the fastest-growing in the Nigerian economy, signifying that our modest effort and roadmap was not only in the right direction but yielding the right results.”

“I noticed that included in the retreat objectives was a discussion on issues and challenges on the implementation of the aviation roadmap. I will urge the retreat to treat and dissect the aviation sector Roadmap to digest its content and facilitate its implementation,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Sirika acquires three new aircraft for NCAT

Sirika tasked participants to come up with a framework for improving the relationship between Ministry and its agencies to the level that will not only achieve a very high level of implementation of the roadmap but will also facilitate the inter-agency relationship.

Chairman, Savannah Centre for Development and Training, facilitators of the retreat, Mallam Abidu Yazid observed that whatever was being done in the aviation industry, requires partnership anchored on skills and competence for the industry to thrive.

He commended the Minister for leading the sector from the front by not shying away from taking responsibilities and embarking on projects and programmes capable of changing the face of aviation services in the country.

Earlier in his welcome address, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr. Hassan Musa described aviation as a critical sector that is subject to international regulation and audit.

According to the Permanent Secretary, the retreat was organised in order to forge a synergy that would facilitate the realisation of the objectives of the aviation roadmap, for the benefits of Nigeria and Nigerians.