‘Avi­a­tion sec­tor will gain from new GDP’

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

The Na­tional Bureau of Sta­tis­tics (NBS), Sun­day, re­leased Nigeria’s nom­i­nal GDP which showed a rise from N54.2 tril­lion in 2010 to N80.2 tril­lion in 2013 ($510 bil­lion).

With this new GDP sta­tus, Nigeria is now the largest econ­omy in Africa and 26th glob­ally.

An­a­lysts are al­ready tip­ping Nigeria to ex­pe­ri­ence more for­eign di­rect in­vest­ments and im­proved eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties with this new eco­nomic size go­ing for­ward. They said in­vestors will look the way of Nigeria be­cause of the huge mar­ket size that has now been of­fi­cially ex­posed.

If the Nige­rian econ­omy is grow­ing, there will be more in­vest­ments and avi­a­tion in­dus­try would ben­e­fit be­cause there would be im­proved move­ments of people.

In 2012, Nigeria’s air pas­sen­ger traf­fic was fourth in Africa with about 15 mil­lion af­ter South Africa, Egypt and Morocco, re­spec­tively.

But with im­ple­men­ta­tion of the avi­a­tion roadmap with its strong bias for air safety stan­dards, com­fort trav­els and im­proved air­port in­fra­struc­ture, the num­ber of Nige­ri­ans trav­el­ling is likely to hit 30 mil­lion in 2015.

Cur­rently, the Nige­rian avi­a­tion in­dus­try con­trib­utes just over N200 bil­lion to the Nige­rian econ­omy, an­nu­ally, and pro­vides more than 70,000 jobs. Though avi­a­tion au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mated that when the Aerotropo­lis Project is com­pleted and other ad-ons in the avi­a­tion roadmap are achieved, additional 80,000 to 100,000 job op­por­tu­ni­ties would be cre­ated.

When that oc­curs, Federal Min­istry of Avi­a­tion Projects the Avi­a­tion In­dus­try will con­trib­ute an additional N500 bil­lion to the Nige­rian econ­omy (GDP) di­rectly and in­di­rectly, an­nu­ally, and will sup­port more than 200,000 jobs in Nigeria. This will come from additional in­vest­ments, con­struc­tion of the in­fra­struc­ture and FDI in­flows into the in­dus­try.

With a re­based econ­omy and new faith in Nigeria’s mar­ket size, the FDI could also come the way of the avi­a­tion sec­tor.

Com­ment­ing, the Su­per­vis­ing Min­is­ter for Avi­a­tion, Chief Sa­muel Or­tom, told our cor­re­spon­dent that this de­vel­op­ment will also im­pact pos­i­tively on the avi­a­tion in­dus­try.”

He said: “If the new GDP will wit­ness im­proved eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties and pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ments, then the avi­a­tion in­dus­try would also wit­ness pri­vate sec­tor in­vest­ments. This is be­cause as more lo­cal and for­eign in­vest­ments come into Nigeria fol­low­ing the re­newed con­fi­dence in the Nige­rian econ­omy, air trans­port would also boom as more people would want to travel quickly and ex­e­cute businesses. Thus, with im­proved pas­sen­gers, more air­lines can op­er­ate in the Nige­rian mar­ket and make profit. This should at­tract new air­lines and other in­vest­ments in the avi­a­tion in­dus­try.”

He also noted that the Federal Govern­ment is en­cour­ag­ing pri­vate in­vest­ment in the Nige­rian avi­a­tion sec­tor.

He, thus, pledged his min­istry’s sup­port to pri­vate in­vestors who would like to in­vest in the Nige­rian avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

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