Buhari Seeks Investors’ Support to Fund Aviation Infrastructure

November 24, 2017

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Both local and international investors have been urged to assist the Federal Government in funding infrastructure in the aviation sector.

President Muhammadu Buhari, speaking at the third International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF/3) in Abuja, submitted that local and international private capitals were the surest way to fund aviation infrastructure.

Represented at the event by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the President noted that there was little commitment in financing aviation infrastructure in Africa beyond mere words.

He emphasized that the critical responsibility of all stakeholders is to ensure that the phenomenal growth trajectory of the industry is well managed and regulated for safety and efficiency, taking into account sustainable environment with friendly policies and regulations.

“The key to achieving this objective is collaboration. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is in discussions with us on financing Nigeria’s Integrated Aviation Master Plan which involves building and maintenance and the financing of a private sector led national carrier.

“The conference is timely as it will give room for a thorough engagement of the way forward and as well the practical steps required to ensure that African aviation is not left behind in the growth story of world aviation,” Mr Buhari said at the conference on Tuesday.

Also speaking, Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, noted that the theme of the forum, ‘Financing the development of Aviation infrastructure’ was apt, considering the infrastructure deficit facing the aviation sector in most parts of the world.

Mr Sirika, who further said that the deficit was bad on one hand, stated that it also provides opportunity for investment on the other hand.

He further said that Nigeria with its great potential still lacks a strong air carrier, major Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centre, efficient world class airport or even a significant catering company and urged investors to on the brighter side invest in Nigeria as the country has 34 percent Rate of Return on Investment, one of the highest in the world.

He said, “I am glad to inform you that Nigeria has passed ICAO security audit with 96.4 percent while its score in the Universal Safety Oversight Audit was above global average and by far exceeds Abuja ministerial Safety target. Nigeria as a signatory to yamasoukro Decision (YD) is committed to single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM). I cannot understand how 80 per cent of carriers operating in Africa are non-African. This is unacceptable”.

He further stated that according to the Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan (NIMP), $775 billion is required to develop Nigeria’s transportation infrastructure over the next 30 years.

On his part, the ICAO Council President, Dr Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu, said that financing development of aviation infrastructure was a key global priority, adding that ICAO has reprivatized itself to be a more efficient and value partner to its member states.

He further said that aviation today is by far the safest means of transportation and from global standpoint, modern commercial aircrafts connects some 10 million passengers daily on over 500,000 flights amounting to 3.8 billion passengers and 35 million flights in 2016 and the results are expected to double over the next 15 years.

Modupe Gbadeyanka

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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