Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah has been urged to create the enabling environment that would make the aviation industry more viable and attractive to foreign investors.
The call was made by the National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, recently Lagos.
It will be recalled that the Minister had embarked on a 10-day Aviation Road Show with top officials of the ministry and agencies in the aviation sector in a bid to woo foreign investors to the aviation industry.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, Comrade Okewu said the infrastructural changes being witnessed in the sector presently should have been concluded by the minister of aviation before embarking on the “road show” to woo investors to the industry. Okewu noted that the intention of the minister to woo investors to the sector was a good thing, he however added that the timing of the trip was wrong saying that there are investors in Nigeria capable of investing in the sector.
“If you ask me if the road show is what is needed for the industry now, my answer will be no. There is nothing wrong in doing a road show, but before you bring in investors you should first create the enabling environment. There is a process, I thought we were remodelling. Have they concluded the remodelling?
I thought we said we wanted to change the face of infrastructure in the aviation industry, have we concluded that? Is that what you want to bring investors to come and do? Don’t we have investors in Nigeria that can do that? Yes, there is need for us to go out and look for investors but I think critically that the timing is wrong.”
Comrade Okewu believes that because of several projects that are ongoing, the Minister should allow these projects to be completed before going out to woo investors. According to him ‘’ you have your roadmap, you have aerotropolis that you want to turn the industry into, and these things have not been subjected to inputs from various stakeholders, for it to have a concrete model that you can sell to investors. If those investors come now and start punctuating all those models what would you say? Incidentally, it is a good intention, it is a good project but sincerely the timing is wrong.