By LAWANI MIKAIRU
The Aviation Ministry has called on Chinese Investors to buy into the Aerotropolis project of the ministry in order to position aviation in a pivotal position to contribute to the growth of Nigeria’s economy. This call is coming on the the heel of the successful signing of the $500 million Loan Agreement to finance the construction of four new International Airport terminals in Nigeria.
According to Mr Joe Obi, Special Assistant, Media, to the Minister of Aviation, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr George Uriese while addressing the Nigeria-China Investment Forum in Beijing , expressed the desire of the Ministry to partner with the Chinese Investment Community for the development of Aerotropoli in the Nigerian cities of Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.
Uriesi said the Aerotropoli hold tremendous promise of good return on investment for any investor, and called on the Chinese investors to take advantage of the huge opportunities which the initiative presents to boost the expansion of their business interest on the African continent.
“We want to partner with you as we develop our Aerotropoli in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano. There is so much more that Chinese companies can do to leverage our drive to position aviation as pivotal to the growth of the Nigerian economy through the airport cities concept, otherwise known as Aerotropolis”, the FAAN MD said.
Uriesi added that the Ministry wants to establish Nigeria as an aircraft maintenance hub on the African continent and called on Chinese investors to take the opportunity and establish Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities in the country.
“With a population of over 167 million people and a projected passenger growth of 50 million by 2026, Nigeria is a huge, untapped market waiting to be harnessed by investors with an eye for guaranteed return on investment.”
He further spoke of the huge potential which the perishable cargo/fresh produce initiative holds for any investor, stressing that to grow this segment of aviation in Nigeria, about 13 perishable cargo terminals are being constructed across the country.
The Investment Forum, which was attended by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR also had a large investment community which expressed readiness to expand its business interests in Nigeria. The Forum climaxed a Three-Day State Visit of President Jonathan to China, which witnessed the signing of over 15 Agreements and MoU’s, including the $500 million Loan Agreement to finance the construction of four airport terminals.