Africa: Liberia Takes Over Mano River Union Aviation Authority
Liberia, through its Transport Minister, Samuel A. Wlue, has officially assumed the Chairmanship of the Ministerial Council of the Roberts Flight Information Region (RFIR).
RFIR composes of Civil Aviation authorities of the three Mano River States and its Secretariat is headed by the Chairman and Secretary General, which has been assumed by Liberia as chair.
The regional aviation body decides on matters of finance and general operations of the regional aviation sector.
Minister Wlue took over the Chairmanship from his Guinean counterpart, Honorable Aboubacar Sylla, on Saturday, September 15, 2018, at the Roberts International Airport.
The ceremony occurred during a closing session of the 2018 Ministerial Council Meeting of the RFIR.
Speaking following his assumption of the Chairmanship, Minister Wlue said he was overwhelmed with joy for another great honor given Liberia.
He said the honor was not for him personally but for the Republic of Liberia for which Liberians should all be proud.
“The honor is not only for me, but for Liberia for which we should all be proud. I will work in close collaboration with my colleagues as well as Secretary General for the upliftment of the RFIR to another level,” Minister Wlue said.
The Liberia Minister of Transport called on the staffers to redouble their efforts in the discharge of their duties for the continued growth of the RFIR.
He stressed that he will close ranks with his Guinean and Sierra Leonean Counterparts as well as the Secretariat of the organization to lift the RFIR to another level of growth.
He called on staffers of the RFIR to redouble their efforts in the discharge of their duties for the continual growth of the organization.
Turning over the gavel of authority to Minister Wlue, the Guinean Minister of Transport and Aviation and Outgoing Chairman of the Ministerial Council, Honorable Aboubacar Sylla congratulated Chairman Wlue and expressed implicit confidence in his ability to deliver.
“I pledge my support and fullest cooperation as you take over this portfolio. I believe that Liberia can do better with Minister Wlue being seated at the top,” he said through an interpreter.
During his tenure as chairman, Wlue is expected to lead his counterparts in defining the general policy of the RFIR.
As chairman, Minister Wlue will also play a leading role in defining any matter submitted to that body by the technical committee and the secretariat.
During the opening of the meeting over the weekend, former House Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay, who now heads the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority, said the meeting is intended to review and validate the technical committee’s activities report and the operating budget of the RFIR.
Director Nuquay told participants to consider the review and renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA) and the civil aviation authority of both Guinea and Sierra Leone that will grant the oversight authority of the RFIR to the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LCAA).”
“We believe it is in the interest of the RFIR and its member states for us to consider dedicating the oversight responsibility of RFIR to the LCAA. “We also believe that it will be in the supreme interest of the three states,” said.
Nuquay believes that the consideration of said authority will give the RFIR the full operational capacity and will also help to strengthen the RFIR.
Deputy Director General of Sierra Leone Civil Aviation Authority (SLCAA) Moses T. Baio said technical committee meetings by RFIR have always served as a platform for dialogue between the administrative sector of the RFIR.
Mr. Baio noted that the conference usually provides the platform for the development of the RFIR in terms of adding value to the organization. According to him, the RFIR has changed over the years and no longer the same five years ago.
He added that “I’m convinced that this year’s meeting will lead to the advancement of the RFIR to another level.”
The Roberts Flight Information Region was established on January 17, 1975, by the Heads of State of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to regulate the unified upper airspace of the three countries.
The position of Chairman is rotational amongst member states. The position of Deputy Secretary General for Technical Affairs is rotational between Guinea and Sierra Leone while Liberia occupies the permanent position of Deputy Secretary General for Administrative Affairs.
The occasion was attended by the Secretary-General and his two Deputies for Administration and Technical Affairs, all members of the Technical Committee and staff from member countries, members of the Senior Management Team of the Ministry of Transport, the Press and hundreds of well-wishers.