Montreal - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Nigeria to facilitate the opening of the Association’s first office in the nation’s largest city, Lagos.

The MOU was signed in Montreal, Canada on 20 September 2007 by Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO and the Honourable Diezani Alison Madueke, Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation. Both were attending the 36th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The Nigeria office is targeted to open by the end of 2007 and will assist IATA’s Africa Regional Office (Johannesburg) in delivering IATA’s programmes throughout the six English-speaking countries of West Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Gambia, Liberia and Cape Verde.

“This MoU is an important step in the development of civil aviation in West Africa, particularly Nigeria which is the region’s largest market,” said Bisignani. “We have invested significant resources in Africa with our Johannesburg regional office. Today’s agreement gives us a valuable local presence to deliver our many programmes—from safety to industry solutions and our settlement system.”

IATA has been working closely with the Nigerian government on several issues, particularly safety. “Safety is our top priority,” said Bisignani. “The Nigerian government has taken major steps forward to build a solid foundation for safety improvement. Today’s MoU takes IATA’s commitment one step further. I look forward to the continued great cooperation from the Director General of Civil Aviation, Harold Demuren and Minister of Transport Mudueke to continue to foster the development of civil aviation in Nigeria and West Africa.”

Notes for editors:

  • The Nigerian office will draw on the resources of IATA’s regional office based in Johannesburg, serving 6 English-speaking countries in West Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra-Leone, Gambia, Liberia and Cape Verde.
  • There are 2 IATA members based in Nigeria (Virgin Nigeria and Belleview Airlines).

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