From Uche Usim, Abuja

Hopes of having direct air connectivity between Nigeria and Uganda brightened on Thursday, as the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, led a delegation to Kampala to deepen conversations on the deal with his counterpart, the Minister of Works and Transport of Uganda, Gen. Edward Katumba Kamala.

Gen. Kamala, who received the delegation, said the meeting afforded both Ministers room to provide the necessary political leadership that would facilitate the implementation of the agreements.

The meeting focused on the review of the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between both countries, which was signed in 2002 and reviewed in 2005.

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It also focused on how to give the necessary administrative and technical support to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed during the last International Civil Aviation Negotiation (ICAN) Event which held in Abuja from 5th to 9th December, 2022. Gen. Kamala, during the meeting, reiterated his Country’s quest for the operation of direct flight into Nigeria using its national carrier, the Uganda Airlines. He also sought technical cooperation and collaboration between the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, and the East African Civil Aviation Academy (EACAA), located in Soroti, Ugandan. Equally, the Ugandan Aeronautical Authorities also solicited technical support from Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

In his response, Sirika underscored the importance of air transportation, which he said remains the major means of connecting the people of Africa and enhancing trade. 

He stated that air transportation will do well in Africa with its population of over 1.37 billion and urged African nations to leverage the opportunity of Single Africa Air Transport Market ( SAATM) to attain the 2065 Africa Agenda.