By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
The minister of state of aviation, Hadi Sirika has disclosed that the federal government would soon regulate efficiently the use of unmanned air vehicles.
LEADERSHIP recalls that the Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) is set to host the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) symposium on Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Abuja from July 17 to July 18.
Speaking to State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, the minister assured that the government is not going to over regulate saying “we will remain safe and secure and then make the industry much more efficient.
According to him “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 heart attack or to deliver pizza or to take 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 kilogram 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,” he said.
On the Acting President’s response, he said “He has one himself and has 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 his part, President of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Olumuyiwa Benard Aliyu, expressed appreciation to the Acting President for the fact that Nigeria is hosting the very important event even though the country has a remotely piloted aircraft system.
He stated; 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 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 this aviation development and to urge government to put aviation as the corner stone of the national development.”