Conference participants want Nigeria to lead air transport in Africa

Fri, May 19, 2023
By editor


THE Nigerian aviation industry has been urged to aim at leading the air transport industry in Africa.

This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the second annual Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference held from May 15 to May 18, in Abuja.

The communique is signed by Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Chairman of Planning Team; Mr Nath Abraham- Inajoh, the Alternate Chairman of Planning Team; and Mr Adebola Odugbemi, the Conference Secretary.

According to the communique, the stakeholders at the conference agreed that efforts ought to be doubled to ensure that the airline market place was reinforced toward making Nigeria achieve the goal.

“The goal of the Nigerian aviation industry should be to lead Air transport in Africaand Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) implementation is a key opportunity for Nigeria to take the lead in air transport in Africa.

“ It should, therefore, consolidate its strength in the airline marketplace, leveraging on its upwardly mobile young population and entrepreneurial spirit among others.

“SAATM implementation and an open visa regime is required to achieve the above-desired goal, as such African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) should engage the Nigerian Immigration Services on visa cost/requirement to Nigeria, “ it said.

The stakeholders at the conference suggested that African Airports should also synergise on the implementation of SAATM for sustainable development and growth that would be consequent on seamless connectivity and an enlarged market.

The conference identified debt financing,  environment, among others as fundamental issues affecting sustainable  development in the aviation industry.

According to the communiquegovernment policies should be designed to be a major economic enabler and catalyst to sustainability in the industry.

“One policy identified as a major clog to sustainable development is 40% TSA deduction policy by the Federal Government which needs to be reviewed, as it is against international standards and practices, and provisions of FAAN Act,2022.

“FAAN as an airport operator needs to diversify its sources of income from aeronautical to non-aeronautical streams of revenue and as an assets manager.

“FAAN should also ensure that its assets yield maximum return as majority of its land mass across all the airports are currently sub-optimally utilised, “ it said.

According to the communique, FAAN should show exceptional leadership in the airport management model.

It said FAAN should lead all other stakeholders in the operational process, negotiations, and coordination of related activities that will advance sustainable aviation development process.

The communique said that stakeholders’ engagement was crucial to airport planning.

It said that FAAN ought to ensure that stakeholders’ requirements were factored into the airport master plan.

“Aviation stakeholders should identify, understand and support each other for sustainability to be achieved in the industry.

“There should be a reduction in bureaucratic bottlenecks that constitute a clog in sustainability of aviation development in Nigeria.

“Compliance and monitoring of operations are pivotal to enhancing stakeholders’ satisfaction.

“Certification of more African airports is important for sustainability in the aviation industry and Nigeria should be the leader of the African certification process, “ it said.

The conference resolved that strategic partnerships between organisations and trade unions, robust engagement on labor-related matters ought to be considered as a panacea to employee discontent in the aviation industry.

It agreed that there should be a specialised salary structure for aviation employees in line with global standards.

According to the communique, human capital development is crucial for any sustainable development to occur.

“Aviation Agencies should adequately provide for training and re-training of employees in its annual budget.

“ Frequent engagement and proper collaboration between aviation agencies and Unions are desirable for improved performance,” it said. (NAN) 



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