By Seyi Babalola
Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has stated that the Federal Government is ready to make Nigeria the African aviation hub.
Keyamo stated this in Abuja on Wednesday at the Seventh Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition 2023, saying that the current administration is ready to achieve the feat by addressing challenges in the aviation industry in order to attract foreign investors.
“The government is already looking at aircraft leasing company, aircraft maintenance organisation, forex availability, and tax holidays to improve the aviation business in Nigeria.
This includes upgrading the CAT III landing system at major airports, construction of the second runway in Abuja, airport improvement programmes through concessions, and government’s willingness to partner with companies to turn major airports into aerotropolis.
“The government welcomes major players in aircraft leasing and head lessors to invest in Nigeria airlines to provide state-of-the-art aircraft,” he said.
Keyamo further avowed that government would ensure the enforcement of contract agreements and the rights of investors, assuring that all parties are protected since Nigeria is a signatory to the Cape Town Convention, which upholds international obligations.
The minister said Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility was another critical component that could make the Nigerian aviation industry a hub on the continent.
“With the shortage of qualified engineers, the current administration is willing to provide all the necessary support for the establishment of a world-class MROS and training organisation. The current administration is aware that one of the setbacks entrepreneurs have suffered in Nigeria in recent years is the fluctuation of foreign exchange and its availability.
“This administration is committed to ensuring that forex is readily available to entrepreneurs, and I have directed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) hold quarterly reconciliation meetings with a view to resolve this issue,” he said.