…Says FNAC Ready To Give Investors Opportunity To Invest
Nigeria lost at least $2.5 billion about (N1.25 trillion) in the maintenance of its aircraft at foreign Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in 2021.
The Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, disclosed this while delivering his welcome address at the first edition of FAAN National Aviation Conferences (FNAC) with the theme, ‘Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport,’ today in Abuja
Yadudu said that such huge amount would have been saved if the country had MRO facilities that could adequately cater for all types of aircraft.
He noted that the FNAC would give investors and entrepreneurs the opportunities to invest in the several areas in the sector.
Presently, to carry out C-check on Boeing 737 aircraft or its category, airlines spend about $1.8 million and it is done every 18 months.
The FAAN boss pointed out that Nigeria’s potential and capacity in the global air transport industry is being grossly underutilised, stressing that if stakeholders in the industry were indeed desirous of attaining the status of a major player in the global aviation sphere, it was high time the country integrated backward to repose and move the industry forward.
He said that the essence of the ongoing conference was on Nigeria because the country had the largest fleet of aircraft within the sub region.
”It was reported that Nigeria lost $2.5 billion (about N1.25 trillion) in MRO investments to neighbouring countries. Having such investments here would have created more employment opportunities for Nigerians, revenue generation and training of technical personnel for maintenance of aircraft.
”The inter link and value chain between the air transport, tourism and hospitality industry for economic growth cannot be over emphasized. Today, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London bridge, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, the British Museum in United Kingdom, among others have all been consciously developed into major tourist attractions that drive passenger traffic to those destinations and by implication attract businesses and generate employments for the locals and foreigners alike,” he said.
Yadudu commended the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, the Permanent Secretary, Directors of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Senate and House Committee Chairmen and other stakeholders for supporting the industry at all times.
Earlier, the Aviation Minister in his goodwill message, disclosed that President Buhari would at any moment from now sign into law the passed Civil Aviation Bill by the National Assembly, assuring that with the president’s assent to the bill, Nigerian aviation industry would grow rapidly, while more opportunities would also be created for all stakeholders and investors.
He pointed out that the Aviation Industry Roadmap as approved by the Federal Government was intentionally fashioned after the Public Private Participation (PPP) model with the plan to grow the entire sector.
He called on both local and foreign investors to harness the several opportunities in the aviation sector, especially with the recently approved 12, hectares of land for implementation of the aviation roadmap by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Some of the projects earmarked for the aviation roadmap are: MRO, Aviation Leasing Company, National Carrier, Aerospace University, Airport Concession and Aerorropolis amongst others.
Speaking further, he said, ”We are ready to pursue all the components of the roadmap. Every part of the roadmap has reached advanced stages and all would be delivered before the end of this administration. Aviation industry in Nigeria is a goldmine, but it is still virgin. Globally, the core variables that sustain aviation industry is safety and security. We must continue to sustain these in the country.”
The Federal Government, he revealed was willing and ready to discuss business and partner with investors to bring the desired growth and development to the industry.
Also speaking, the first Nigeria Indigenous Pilot, Capt. Bob Hayes, congratulated FAAN for organizing the conference to discuss the challenges militating against the efficiency of the industry, as well as proffering long lasting solutions to the challenges.
He argued that the Federal Government’s roadmap for the sector would grow the industry if well-implemented, urging investors to partner with the government to ensure industry growth.