The Federal government has thrown the door open for investment in its aviation industry, which is her third fastest growing sector of the economy.
The Minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who made this known at the first international aviation conference in Abuja, said the sector with an impressive thirty-four percent return on investment already had a twelve hectare land on the Federal Capital Territory assigned to it for more development.
The conference which is being attended by aviation experts from different fields will among other things ponder on challenges and growth for the sector.
Aviation minister had Sirika said the aviation road map which includes a national carrier, airport concession, leasing companies are geared to ensure profitability and sustenance on the premise of Safety and security, which are the bedrock of the aviation industry.
Since the inception of this government, various fora had been provided for stakeholders and others to ensure transparency of the vision in this sector.
“This conference is an addition to further discuss, evaluate, analyse and to synergize prospects in the aviation sector”.
“We are determined to actualize every component of the aviation road map, some of its key elements such as the national carrier, airport concession have reached advanced stages of completion”.
The Managing director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Captain Rabiu Yadudu who noted that Nigeria’s take in the global air transport industry was grossly underutilized expressed optimism that continued engagements by experts would change the status and fortunes of the sector.
“The focus is on Nigeria because we have the the largest fleet in the sub region, as at 2021 it was reported that Nigeria lost about two point five billion dollars in MRO in neighbouring countries”.
“Having such investment here would have created more job opportunities for Nigerians, revenue generation and for training of technical staff for the maintenance of aircrafts”.
“The inter link and value chain between Air transport, hospitality and tourism for economic growth cannot be overemphasized”.
The Managing Director, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Nuhu Musa explained how plans for the aviation sector would propel Development despite the set back it suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic when operations were grounded.
“The industry was just beginning to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, however through collaborative efforts we were able to manage the situation”.
“The domestic industry has recovered, unfortunately we got hits by the rising all price in the international market, but for us in Nigeria, as the dollar price for jet A1 increased, the value of the naira was decreasing”
The first Nigerian pilot, Captain Bob Blasé, pointed out that the sector needed continual stakeholder engagement to re-evaluate its performance.
“I have undoubtedly being watching the aviation sector in Nigeria from the sidelines, it is a fact that it has made tremendous progress”.