FG adopts mechanisms to stabilise aviation industry, says Yuguda

By The Citizen

The Supervising Minister of National Planning Commission, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, on Friday said that the Federal Government had adopted mechanisms to help in stabilising the aviation industry.

Yuguda disclosed this in Abuja at the 12th Plenary of the 36 Member Countries Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development.

The minister said that Nigeria adopted the financing mechanisms such as the air ticket levy and an effective aid management strategy under a newly reviewed Official Development Assistance policy.

'This is in line with our Government's Transformation Agenda and Nigeria Vision 20:2020 which is the country's long-term development blue print.

'This levy is not remitted to UNITAID to promote health causes as it is in many countries.

'In Nigeria, it is being deployed towards ensuring high safety and health standards, provision of aviation infrastructure and manpower development.

'These mechanisms have so far helped to stabilise the aviation industry in terms of boosting the capacity of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

'We are open to collaborative funding sources for our programmes such as offered by the French Development Agency and the Bill Gates Foundation on Polio Vaccination.

'As an emerging economy, Nigeria occupies a unique dual position as a recipient and donor of aid. In concrete terms, we give more than we receive,' the minister said.

He said that Nigeria was committed to peace keeping operations, especially in the West African sub-region and was giving technical aid support through its Technical Aid Corps programme.

'Nigeria is conscious of the fact that unrelenting global economic pressures have orchestrated a progressive reduction in development aid.

'Therefore, as a recipient and donor of aid, we feel the pinch on both feet,' he said.

Yuguda also urged the group to develop a robust advocacy programme to promote the instrumentality of innovative financing for development globally.

According to him, the advocacy programme should be done through aggressive publicity for useful expert reports in such critical sectors as education, health, food security, illicit flows and climate change.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, urged the group to develop a more sustainable and innovative means of funding developments to complement the dwindling ODA to developing countries.

Okonjo-Iweala said the group was expected to deliberate on Millennium Development Goals and Post 2015 Agenda as they were imperative to the global economy.

Mr Pascal Canfin, Minister-delegate in charge of Development, called for the development of partnerships between the public and private sectors to mobilise more financial resources for development.

NAN reports that the group is aimed at establishing predictable and stable mechanisms for raising funds for development to complement the ODA. NAN