Nigeria needs N15.3tn for aviation infrastructure – Experts

Nigeria needs N15.3tn for aviation infrastructure – Experts
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi

Aviation experts have said that the country needs $50bn (N15.3bn) to close infrastructure gap in the industry and position the industry as Sub-Saharan Africa hub in the next 30 years.

The experts, who spoke on Tuesday at the Nigeria Travels Mart colloquium on ‘Vision 2050: How to fast track Nigeria’s aviation’, said that to close the current infrastructure gap and reach the desired optimal investment, the country must aggressively increase core infrastructure stock from its estimated 35 to 40 per cent contribution of the Gross Domestic Product to 70 per cent by 2043.

The Chief Executive Officer of RTC Advisory Services Limited, Mr. Opeyemi Agbaje, said spending on infrastructure had been poor and that the target investment requirement was approximately $2.9tn over next 30 years.

According to him, sectoral targets and investment needs for a 30-year period will be $800bn for the transportation sector comprising $350 for road infrastructure; $75bn for rail; $50bn for aviation; $50bn for maritime; and $275bn for urban transportation.

These, he said, should be funded by Foreign Direct Investment with the support of the Federal Government through the provision of a stable macroeconomic environment; forward-looking and proactive policy; a clear and compelling vision for the industry shared by all stakeholders, including government and the private sector.

“The whole of infrastructure, not just for aviation or transportation, must come from the FDI, not borrowing as the Federal Government prefers,” he said.

A former Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren, said that despite the current challenges, the future of aviation in the country was bright and would be driven by a projected increase in population from over 180 million currently to about 399 million by 2050.

He however stated that the government should improve on the ease of doing business in the industry and the provision of infrastructure.

“We need to look critically at infrastructure, especially the land and air side. State of the art terminals will not ensure safety. We need to continue to ensure safety regulations without political intervention,” he said.

He added that the government should consider establishing a national carrier to be able to harness the industry’s potential.

“If we had developed a national carrier, we will not be where we are today. The government must learn to support the industry. All over the world, the government is the biggest supporter of airlines,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer of Kitari Consult Limited, an aviation consulting firm, Mr. Ali Magashi, said many airports in the country were in a state of disrepair, while basic infrastructure such as adequate runway capacities and terminal facilities were often lacking at major airports.

Magashi, who is also the Chairman of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, said that reforming the Nigerian aviation sector would depend on the implementation of various critical factors by all relevant stakeholders, particularly the government.

According to him, a national carrier will serve as a panacea for fast tracking the growth of aviation in the country.

He said a national carrier airline would serve as the country’s brand to the world and bring the world into the country as well as take the country to the world.


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