For achieving a quantum leap forward for the Nigerian Aviation industry, the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, made it clear that Aviation is pivotal to the growth of key economic sectors, certainly not limited to travel and tourism.
Sirika had quite some surprises and a handful of seemingly simple solutions to longstanding problems and issues. Government plans to concession four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano to the private sector. Thus by bringing in the private sector, the country can achieve better infrastructural development and improve the efficiency of service delivery at these airports. Sirika said that some of the challenges facing the country’s airports were that of obsolete equipment and dilapidated infrastructure; obsolete equipment and inadequate capacity.
The present administration is focusing on issues that will rapidly develop the aviation industry within the shortest possible time and these issues include aviation safety and security, infrastructural development, the establishment of a national carrier, lack of a world class aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul, (MRO) facility in the country.
Others are how to quickly develop our air cargo capacity in order to participate actively in multi-billion dollars global agro-allied export trade, restructuring of the country’s aviation agencies and the setting up of an aerospace University in the country.
On safety and security at our airports, government’s response should include the development of a new security strategy framework in partnership with international security organisations, the determined implementation of a certification programme for all our airports and a comprehensive security threat and vulnerability assessment of our airports. Already a technical committee with the mandate to look into security at the country’s airports have been inaugurated.
The administration is emphatic that it will establish a national carrier because of the benefits that the country would derive from it, especially from the various bilateral and multilateral air services agreements signed by the government with other countries, worldwide, this will help stem current capital flight due to foreign airlines exploiting the current absence of a Nigerian national carrier.
Furthermore, to realise this laudable goal, he said that government would engage the services of a transaction adviser to develop an appropriate business model and framework to establish a national carrier using a public/private partnership concept. When in place, the national carrier would be expected to form alliances and joint ventures with other carriers, in order to increase its reach and routes.
Read the full article here.