The Federal Government on Monday, 23 May, 2016 disclosed plans to concession the nation’s four major airports – Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt International airport.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known during an event to mark the International Air Transport Association’s Aviation Day 2016 in Abuja.
Represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, the Minister told participants that there was huge investment opportunity in Nigeria’s aviation sector, adding that foreign investors were free to take part in the process.
He stated that “The Nigerian … aviation sector is full of opportunities, some of which include the concession of airports (Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt); partnerships to establish a national carrier; maintenance, repair and overhaul centre; aviation leasing centre; and development of agro-cargo terminals and associated infrastructure,
“Others are partnerships to upgrade the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology; leisure and hospitality, including hotels and resorts; logistics facilitation, including taxi and car hire; cargo, courier, warehousing, clearing and forwarding; catering and packaging; currency exchange, duty free and tourism guide; and facility management.”
Sirika however pointed out that there were a number of challenges to be addressed despite the opportunities that abound in the country.
Such of the challenges, according to Sirika, include cost and availability of aviation fuel, high cost of aircraft maintenance, foreign exchange remittance difficulties, dilapidated infrastructure and shortage of manpower.
But the minister assured that Government is doing its best to put measures in place in order to cushion the effect of these challenges.