THE Federal Government on Monday stressed the importance of regulating the use of drones in the country as it feared that it could be used to carry explosives.
Minster of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents in Abuja that the government would regulate the use of drones in the country to ensure that they were not put to destructive use.
But he stressed that it would not be over-regulated to allow its benefits to be properly harnessed.
He said: “These are some of the benefits of unmanned vehicles
“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.
“We hope that by regulating, we will eliminate the dangers.”
Sirika had accompanied Olumuyiwa Benard Aliyu, President of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), on a visit to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over the planned ICAO symposium on aviation and unmanned vehicles taking place in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria would explore the good uses of drones at the symposium which he was sure would be beneficial to the country.
The minister added: “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.”
Sirika noted that Nigeria would share ideas at the symposium and “come up with solutions on the good uses of the drones and of course over the bad uses”.
In his remarks, the ICAO President stated that they were at the Presidential Villa to express appreciation to the Acting President Nigeria’s hosting of the symposium on remotely piloted aircraft system.
He said it was also to express ICAO’s appreciation to the government for the investment and the support that was being given to aviation development in Nigeria which he said was by extension, 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,” he stated.