The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said that the Federal Government of Nigeria considers the view of stakeholders in the aviation industry as determinant of investment in the sector.
He stated this during the 4th Aviation Stakeholders Forum held on Thursday in Abuja.
The Minister said that the government regards the aviation stakeholders as important resource persons, associates and partners while
committed to attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Into the Aviation Sector.
The Minister noted that full implementation of its roadmap would lead to improved service standards, contribute to ongoing diversification and enhance the sector’s contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.
While stating that the Federal government is committed to developing an industry with improved infrastructure and quality service delivery, he added that part of government’s vision is establishing a business model that will make the industry self-sustaining through Public Private Partnership (PPP).
According to him; “The government remains committed to making air transportation the preferred and safest means of transportation, creating a self-sustaining business model to drive socio-economic growth in Nigeria. The vision of the government for the industry was to develop a hub to take full advantage of Nigeria’s potentials in aviation.
“We want to develop an industry that provides all the maintenance needs in the country thereby reducing capital flight. We are also determined to ensure optimum utilization of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and Multilateral Air Service Agreement (MASA) to the advantage of indigenous airlines” he said.
He also said that the FGN has taken measures to address the high rate of equipment/ instrument obsolescence and degradation as well as inadequate technical and aging workforce.
Highlights of the forum was the Unveiling of Transaction Advisers and the ACI – African Conference logo.
While unveiling the Transaction Advisers, he noted that they have been working on developing the business case in line with Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and assured that the process would be transparent and all stakeholders would be carried along.
There are five categories of Transaction Advisers namely: MRO/ Aviation Leasing Company, Airport Concession, Aerotropolis & Agro- Allied/ Cargo Terminals and National Carrier.
Earlier is address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari noted that the Ministry has found the Aviation Stakeholders Forum invaluable in policy formulation and programmes development.
“It is our hope that timely implementation of these projects, in addition to ongoing infrastructural upgrade and regulatory reforms in the sector will go a long way to further improve safety, security, efficiency, reliability and sustainability in the sector as well as make the country a preferred destination for airlines” he stated.
In his remark. the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adamu Allero said that the National Assembly was committed to ensuring that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act was passed as quickly as possible.
Senator Aliero also said the National Assembly would continue to support the development drive of the government towards repositioning the nation’s aviation sector.
He disclosed that the senate would only support the planned concession of airports if it would be done transparently, adding that concession would bring about efficiency of the airports.
Aliero urged the Federal Government to ensure that the proposed National carrier was private sector driven, to avoid the repetition of the defunct Nigerian Airways experience.
“We are also in support of the concession of airports provided the process is transparent and I disagree with aviation unions that the concession would lead to job loss.” Saying that it would bring down redundancy, increase efficiency and create multiple jobs.
The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) handed over the ACI- African Conference logo to the Hon. Minister of State Aviation.
Other contributions include the Akwa State Government that called for inclusion in the aviation master plan, some stakeholders. called for serving local brands in domestic flights and the call by a representative of the Institute for Tourism Professionals to deal with wild life disturbance.
The Aviation Stakeholders’ Forum is organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation to provide regular updates, progress and achievements of the Aviation Sector mandate.