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The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen Hadi Sirika, says Nigeria is delighted to host the third International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF), which began in Abuja on Monday.

Sirika stated this at the Cocktail to welcome guests and participants to the forum which is holding for the first time outside Montreal, the ICAO Headquarters in Canada, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN

Sirika noted that aviation was the way to go to foster economic development, stressing that the forum would afford Nigeria the oppirtunity to address the infrastructural deficit in the sector.

Accordung to him, with a population of over 170 million people, Nigeria accounts for more than half of the populace of West Africa.

Also, the Vice President, African Development Bank Group, Mr Pierre Guisain, noted that aviation was critical to socio-economic development.

Guisain said the high cost of airport services and infrastructure required a collective effort of all and sundry.

He said the AfDB as an organisation would continue to contribute its quota to improving airport infrastructure in the African continent.

On his part, the President of ICAO Council, Dr Benard Aliu, expressed pleasure in welcoming the participants to his home country, Nigeria.

“It is a double joy for me, not only as the President of ICAO but because I am a Nigerian,” he said.

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, gave the closing remarks at the occassion.

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