FNAC 2023: The Nigeria aviation industry on the path of growth and sustainable development- Sirika

… As Senate decries high airfares, picketing, encroachment on the facilities in the airport 

Oru Leonard 

As the 4 day second FAAN National Annual Conference (FNAC2; 2023 opens, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said that Nigeria aviation industry is already on the path of growth and sustainable development.

Sirika who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole stated this in his  goodwill message at the ongoing second edition of  FNAC 2023 taking place in Abuja.

He said the recommendations from the conference will impact the system in no small measure such that “the nation’s aviation will further gravitate towards achieving global acceptable Standards And Recommended Practices (SARPS).*

The Minister who expressed fulfilment  that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has made indelible marks on the aviation sector, said the confidence on the intention of building an aviation industry that would be the pride of all Nigerians will surely be pursued by the coming administration

the airline, we need to make full use of all our facilities, assets and resources, that is the target”, he said.

Speaking, the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Biodun Olujimi, decried high airfares, picketing, encroachment on the facilities in the airport as well as safety as issues that can affect sustainability while agreeing that the conference is a great opportunity to address such challenges.

“The industry will suffer if there is this astronomical increase in air fares. Yes, there are reasons why the air fares go up, but there is also a need for us to have a balance for many people to embrace the aviation industry and that is key to the development of the sector”.

Speaking on picketing, she said, “Picketing is what I find very unnerving in all of this, because there should be a way whereby the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), and worker is associations can settle all their grievances without bringing it to the fore, and most of the issues that were put on the front burner were already settled and sealed by the various agencies.

“There was no reason to stop the aviation industry, to put them in a very bad stand with their counterparts abroad by making sure that people didn’t work or flights didn’t take off. I think the time is right for the NLC and the workers unions to know that there are certain industries where picketing cannot be allowed and aviation is one.

“Another issue is the constant demolitions and destruction around the airports, this is due to the fact that people are encroaching on the facilities in the airport. Government should be up and doing and make sure that encroachment is constantly looked at and stopped before it gets out of hand”, she advised.

In his welcome address, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of FAAN, Capt Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu said the Authority intends to use the forum to highlight available investment opportunities in the industry, in order to attract prospective investors, who are desirous of making great returns on there investments.

While noting that the conference would continue to serve as an open market or meeting point for the private sector to tap into a world of opportunities to invest, he stated that the theme is focusing on how they can ensure that the industry is here to stay, and performs very well, now and in the years to come.

“We need to have a very sound industry, very harmonized in full conformance and compliance with the standard and recommended practices. We need to have it working very well so that there is no way our own industry will be seen to be working differently from other countries and of course, we need it to succeed.

“We need to do it in a way that it will be very viable, profitable and successful. We have a lot of land for investment and we need people to come and partner with us. We want to be sustainable, we cannot rely only on aeronautical revenue from revenue. We also have non-aeronautical revenue. The airside, the terminals, and all the airport land. We want to be sustainable, we cannot rely on aeronautical revenue from the airline . We need to make full use of all facilities, assets, and resources, that is our target.”

The conference themed, “Sustainability of the Aviation Industry in Nigeria”, focuses on the regulator’s perspective, economics’ perspective, the airport operators’ perspective, the aviation workers’ perspective and others

The FAAN event which holds from 15- 18 of May 2023 highlights Investment Opportunities in the Aviation Industry and  brings together industry stakeholders from both private and public sector, is aimed at providing a unified platform to discuss challenges, prospects and the way forward to the  growth and development of the nation’s aviation industry.

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