By Seun Ibiyemi
The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja advised relevant stakeholders to invest at various airports across the country. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the call in a goodwill message at the maiden edition of FAAN National Aviation Conference (FNAC) with the theme, “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport. “According to him, such move will strengthen the aim of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the aviation sector.
“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 Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN).
“It will be in mutually beneficial business arrangements to develop Nigerian aviation industry.
“It’s is our intention to come up with a working document that would be transmitted to relevant authorities for immediate action,” he said.
Sirika expressed optimism that resolutions and recommendations that would come out from the 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 and 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 potential 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 natural resources has positioned us strategically as a continental leader,” he said.
In an address, FAAN Managing-Director Capt. Rabiu Yadudu , explained that the conference was a gathering of industry stakeholders, assembled to discuss the past, present and future challenges and opportunities in the Nigeria aviation industry.
Yadudu said the conference was to present a holistic platform for all stakeholders in the industry to discuss the state of the industry 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 that will 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.
“We have assembled a crop of faculties that are both seasoned and have distinguished themselves globally in various fields of aviation, ranging from regulation to operation and financing, among other critical areas for deliberations,” he said.
The Managing-Director said that the nation‘s potentials and capacity in the global air transport industry were being grossly underutilised.
According to Yadudu, it is high time the nation intensified effort to reposition and move the industry forward.
“I am looking forward to a time when we domesticate activities, instead of sending our human resources and flying machines for training and check abroad, thereby expending huge foreign exchange in the process.
“We will also earn foreign exchange from it when other countries send their machines here for checks and their manpower for training in Nigeria,” he said