FG seeks part­ner­ships on avi­a­tion in­fras­truc­ture fund­ing

The Punch - - BUSINESS & ECONOMY - Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

The Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion, Se­na­tor hadi Sirika, says the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is will­ing to work with de­vel­op­ment banks, for­eign in­vestors and pri­vate firms to bridge in­fras­truc­ture fund­ing deficit in the coun­try’s avi­a­tion in­dus­try.

Sirika stated this on Mon­day at the 59th Air­ports Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional, Africa Con­fer­ence, hosted by the Fed­eral Air­ports Au­thor­ity of Nige­ria in La­gos.

The min­is­ter said, “The fund­ing gap is be­ing ad­dressed cur­rently; we have de­vel­op­ment banks and peo­ple do­ing busi­ness in avi­a­tion to work with us and par­take in what we have done, and this is why we are clam­our­ing for bring­ing in the pri­vate sec­tor through con­ces­sion to en­sure that our air­ports are de­vel­oped.

“We are on the right track to see­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Avi­a­tion Roadmap. You will very soon see an im­proved par­tic­i­pa­tion of de­vel­op­ment banks, for­eign part­ners and pri­vate firms in our avi­a­tion in­dus­try.”

he stated that the planned con­ces­sion of four air­ports in the coun­try would take place very soon, adding that while ad­dress­ing in­fras­truc­ture chal­lenge, the gov­ern­ment was also work­ing on se­cu­rity and safety.

The Sec­re­tary to the Gov­ern­ment of the Fed­er­a­tion, Mr. Boss Mustapha, said the gov­ern­ment had in­ten­si­fied ef­forts to im­prove avi­a­tion in­fras­truc­ture in or­der to boost eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

he stated that the ef­forts had over the years sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved the state of avi­a­tion but that there was still the need to up­grade fa­cil­i­ties, im­prove op­er­a­tions, ser­vice qual­ity, se­cu­rity and airspace safety.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the theme of the con­fer­ence, ‘Busi­ness trans­for­ma­tion for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment of African air­ports’, is most ap­pro­pri­ate and comes at a time that most African coun­tries, in­clud­ing Nige­ria, are work­ing on trans­form­ing avi­a­tion busi­ness.

“The Air­port Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional and the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment of Nige­ria are in sync on the de­vel­op­ment of the avi­a­tion in­dus­try in Africa. The full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Avi­a­tion Roadmap, which is pro­gress­ing in line with mile­stone tar­gets, will re­sult in the trans­for­ma­tion of busi­ness and eco­nomic growth in the sec­tor,” he added.

Mustapha stated that the con­fer­ence would show­case Nige­ria as a po­ten­tial in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion to the 350 del­e­gates from 42 coun­tries, adding that go­ing for­ward, peo­ple would be­gin to see the coun­try as a travel des­ti­na­tion.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said Nige­ria would sus­tain its po­si­tion of be­ing in the fore­front of striv­ing to at­tain the high­est level of safety stan­dards, which led to the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the Mur­tala Muhammed In­ter­na­tional Air­port, La­gos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Abuja.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the evolv­ing na­ture of air­port man­age­ment de­mands a trans­for­ma­tion of air­ports from pub­lic ser­vice providers to com­mer­cial en­ter­prises that are ef­fi­ciently man­aged to gen­er­ate more rev­enues.

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