Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah
By Chinedu Eze
Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah, alongside some officials of the Ministry and some chief executive officers of parastatals under the Ministry embarked on a foreign investment drive this weekend to woo foreign investors to key into the transformation and infrastructural development of the aviation sector in Nigeria.
The foreign road show, according to a statement from the Ministry, came on the heels of the one held in Abuja, the FCT for potential local investors shortly after the conclusion of the International Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa.
“The Abuja Road show is already generating tremendous interest from local investors, bankers and other financial institutions who are willing and ready to commence construction/development at the conclusion of all negotiations and due process certification,” the statement said.
During the foreign trip, Investors' Roadshows would be staged in some selected cities across China, the United States of America and Canada where ''Investment Baskets'' would be opened to reveal the huge investment potential that abound in the Nigerian aviation industry.
The statement signed by Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister, Joe Obi, said that the idea behind the roadshow was premised on the dire need to urgently tackle the huge infrastructural deficit in the sector by attracting foreign direct investment in the development of facilities and infrastructure that meet international standards and best practices.
The huge capital outlay required to carry out any significant transformation of the sector cannot be funded from statutory appropriations alone, hence the need to woo both local and foreign investors to make up the deficit, Obi said.
He said that the investors would particularly be wooed to key into the development of the proposed four new international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano as well as the development of aerotroplis around the major airports across the country.
“The proposed Aerotropolis model holds immense benefits to Nigeria, the citizenry and the economy as they would promote regional transformation and economic growth, open up other sectors to reduce over-reliance on oil revenues, promote culture and tourism, enhance safety and drive the rapid transformation of the industry as a whole,” the statement also said.