Aviation Sector to Grow 7%in 10 Years

Kasim Sumaina in Abuja

The Director, Commercial and Business Development of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Sadiku Umar Rafindadi has predicted that Nigeria’s passenger traffic was expected to grow at seven per cent over the next 10 years, while the global industry was expected to remain at 5.3 per cent.

Rafindadi also revealed that in 2020, domestic and international passenger traffic stood at 9,358,186 as against the 15,886,955 recorded in 2021, representing an increase by 41 per cent.

Discussing investment opportunities in the Nigerian aviation sector at the ongoing first FAAN National Aviation conference in Abuja yesterday, he noted that the Nigerian aviation sector was strategically positioned to take advantage of the expected growth in the African market due to its proximity to Europe, the Middle East and the rest of Africa.

Adding that most of West and Central Africa was within a 4-hour flying time from Nigeria with no clear dominating airline present. 

He noted that the Nigerian Aviation market was huge, yet untapped, stating, “we plan to fully tap Nigeria’s potential and fully harness the available opportunities within the 21 airports managed by FAAN.”

According to him, a recent aviation sector study for Nigeria by the International Air Transportation Association(lIATA) in June 2020, showcased the significant contribution of aviation to the national economy, by providing 241,000 jobs, directly and indirectly supported through the aviation sector’s supply chain to the tune of $1.7 billion to the national economy. 

“FAAN is maximising the contribution to the socio-economic development of Nigeria through increased tourism, trade and inflow of FDI; focusing on the growth of agro allied and improved economic processing zones at the designated airports; FAAN is changing its business model for a self-sustaining framework through increased 

private sector participation, thereby, reducing the financial burden on the government. 

“FAAN’s key initiative in promoting investment at the airports is partnering with the state governments and private sector to focus on safety and security, infrastructural development, growing domestic airlines through new route development and designation of airports for improved performance and revenue creation.

“To further boost the economic activities within regions, FAAN realises that as an agrarian economy, cargo transportation is extremely critical for import-export revenues for Nigeria, both locally and internationally. We are therefore working on a long-term cargo development strategy to match the growing needs of investors and e-commerce traffic through the development of 13 designated Cargo Airports in Nigeria for both wet, dry cargo and Agro-Allied Terminals.”

In his contribution, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the aviation industry offers several opportunities for investments and as regulator, “we are working on regulations to unbundled the regulations to make it easier for people to invest in all areas especially in general aviation which has significant sector and we are going to unbundled our regulations so that people can encourage to invest.”

For investments in the airports, he said the airport concessions, starting with the five international airports was also excellent opportunities for investments.

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