Air transport industry grossly under-utilised, says FAAN

By Prince Okafor

The Federal Government yesterday called on stakeholders to invest at various airports across the country.

This is even as the Federal Aviation Agency of Nigeria, FAAN, described the state of air transportation in the country as grossly underutilised.

Speaking at the ongoing maiden edition of FAAN National Aviation Conference, FNAC, with the theme: “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport,” the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said more investments in the sector would strengthen the aim of Public Private Partnership, PPP.

Sirika said: “This conference will also feature trade and investment section, where opportunities for investments at our various airports will be highlighted.

“Investors will have first-hand information on how to partner with FAAN. It will be in mutually-beneficial business arrangements to develop our aviation industry.

“It’s is our intention to come up with a working document that would be transmitted to relevant authorities for immediate action. “The resolutions and recommendations that would come out from this conference would bring lasting and sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting the aviation industry.”

The minister reiterated that the Federal Government was always willing and ready to discuss business and partnership with investors to bring the desired development to the industry. “I, therefore, implore well-meaning Nigerians and foreign investors alike to come on board and take advantage of these business opportunities, with limited potentialities for huge returns of investments.

“This maiden edition would be institutionalised as a platform where great ideas that will propel the Nigerian aviation sector into a global reference point will be developed.

“We appreciate your deep commitment and patriotism to the Nigeria project. Our advantage position in terms of regional positioning, population and natural resources has positioned us strategically as a continental leader, “ he added.

In his remarks, the Managing Director, FAAN, Rabiu Yadudu, said the conference was designed to present a holistic platform for all stakeholders in the industry to discuss the state of the sector in Nigeria, with emphasis on prospects and challenges of the air transport industry.

“This will chart the way forward for a Nigeria air transport industry that will not only be effective, efficient and profitable, but also be a major catalyst to national economic growth and development.

“COVID-19 pandemic did not only impact negatively on the global socio-economic space, it also slowed down global travels, consequently affecting aeronautical operations and revenue generation.

“As we commence process of rebounding, it is important that we come together to identify and analyse the positive from the challenges, with a view to consolidating on them and fostering sustainable development in our industry.”

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