L-R: Nigeria’s aviation minister Hadi Sirika, the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organisation Olumuyiwa Benard Aliyu and Nigeria’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: TWITTER/NIGERIAN PRESIDENCY
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday cautioned aviation authorities against over-regulation of unmanned air vehicles (drones) in the country, saying that doing so may discourage investors.
Briefing newsmen after leading a delegation of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), led by its President, Olumuyiwa Benard Aliyu, to the Acting President yesterday, Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, said his ministry will take good advantage of drones technology.
He added that Osinbajo, who also owned a drone, was familiar with the operations of the facility.
The visit yesterday came on the heels of the planned hosting of a symposium on remotely piloted aircraft system by Nigeria in Abuja.
On Osinbajo’s response on the meeting, Sirika said “he has one himself and has been flying drones himself. He is very much conscious and aware and he gave us the support and guidance that we need. He even warned that we should not over regulate so that we will not send people away.”
On the benefits of the symposium on technology to the country, Sirika said, “Nigeria is going to benefit immensely through this symposium. They have created awareness and we will use the outcome of the symposium to regulate more efficiently the use of unmanned air vehicles.
“We are not going to over-regulate but for sure we will regulate so that we will remain safe and secure and then make the industry much more efficient.
“We will tap from the good uses of drones. We have seen, during the symposium on how we can use drones to send blood samples, to rescue someone with a heart attack or to deliver pizza or to take an aerial photograph and so on. These are some of the benefits of unmanned vehicles.
“We hope that by regulating we will eliminate the dangers. For example, if one unmanned vehicle is capable of carrying loads, you could think of them carrying a kilogramme or two of bomb, with GPS and remotely piloted from a bedroom it can go and be dropped somewhere. At this symposium, we will share ideas and come up with solutions on the good uses of the drones and of course over the bad uses.”
On the visit to the Acting President, ICAO President said “We are here to express appreciation to the Acting President for the fact that Nigeria is hosting the very important event that we have on remotely piloted aircraft system.
“To also express our appreciation to the government for the investment and the support that is being given to aviation development in Nigeria which, by extension, is supporting the development of aviation in Africa and globally.
“For Nigeria, being a very responsible member of ICAO, I am also here to express the support that I still intend to continue to provide in the aviation development and to urge the government to put aviation as the corner stone of the national development.”
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