Harnessing strategic cooperation and creating an enabling environment have been identified as factors to drive the growth of Nigeria’s aviation industry.
This was the consensus of stakeholders at a recent interactive aviation session organised by Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc in Lagos recently.
The session attracted players across the aviation spectrum, including aircraft manufacturers, airlines, investors, pilots, lessors, bankers, insurers, engineers, travel agencies, air travellers and aviation service companies.
Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Dr. Demola Sogunle, said Stanbic IBTC realised the correlation between a vibrant aviation industry in Nigeria and economic growth, hence took up the initiative to support the development of the sector, in collaboration with other stakeholders.
He added that some of the areas where the bank can offer financial service solutions are aircraft financing and leasing, advisory services, asset financing, aviation infrastructure development, and capacity building.
He added, “When we say Africa is our home, we mean every word of it. Supporting the continent’s development is a task we take very seriously.”
Also, at the session the keynote speaker and Chief Executive Officer, African Aviation Services, Nick Fadugba, spoke against the backdrop of Africa’s below par performance in air transportation.
He highlighted three key ingredients that will be helpful in halting the trend: these are having strong airlines, hub airports and an enabling environment. “These steps will improve connectivity and convenience, increase safety and aviation infrastructure, as well as enhance competition, drive down costs and raise efficiencies.
“Achieving this will not be a walk in the park, but it requires hard work by all stakeholders. It was noted that although South Africa Airways, Ethiopian and Kenya Airways are Africa’s three biggest airlines, Emirates is bigger than the three put together – hence the need to provide every support necessary for the industry.
“For a continent with 15 per cent of the global population, Africa offers immense opportunities in air travel, but unfortunately 90 per cent of its air traffic is conducted by foreign airlines,” Fadugba added.
While thanking Stanbic IBTC Bank for organising the aviation-specific conference, Fadugba emphasised that building a safe, secure and efficient aviation industry in Nigeria and Africa required the cooperation of stakeholders in such areas as joint training, repair and overhaul (MRO), spares pooling, joint operations, interlining, and code-sharing.