By Oluwatobi Opusunju
Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has cautioned the aviation industry on over regulating the usage of drone technology in the country as it could stifle the growth of drones as game changers and also scare off foreign investors.
Osinbajo spoke during a courtesy visit paid him by a delegation of International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), led by its President, Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliyu, ahead of the organisation’s symposium in Abuja.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who was also in attendance at the meeting while answering newsmen said the ministry will focus on ways to tap into the advantages of drone technology to foster exponential development in the country.
“Prof. Osinbajo has a drone himself and has been flying it by himself. He is very much conscious and aware of how it works as well as the benefits that could be derived from it 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,” said Hadi Sirika.
“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, that drones could be used to send blood samples, to rescue someone with a heart attack or to deliver pizza or to take an aerial photograph and so on. These are some of the benefits of unmanned vehicles,” Hadi Sirika added.
Speaking on why it’s imperative for the industry to regulate the use of drones, he said, though drones have immense benefits as to the development of the country but it could pose an adverse effect on security of lives and property. He said the regulation will help to eliminate dangers associated with drones like terrorists using drones to disperse bombs.
“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 kilogramme 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 on the bad uses too,” he said.