BusinessDay

FG moves to take over state owned airports

The Federal government is currently taking over some major State airports across the country with plans to eventually give these airports to the private sector.

Some of the state airports that would first be taken over by the federal government are Kebbi, Dutse, Bauchi and Gombe airports, adding that most of the States airports across Nigeria will eventually be given to the private sector for effective and efficient management.

This was disclosed by Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation at the ongoing FAAN National Aviation Conference in Abuja.

Sirika said against reports that Nigeria has about 26 airports, he disclosed that Nigeria actually has 43 airports, some of which are airstrips where flights take off and land.

He said among these 43 airports, some are federal airports, some are state owned and others are privately owned.

Sirika said the federal government is determined to pursue the components of the aviation roadmaps which include the establishment of aircraft leasing companies, aircraft Maintenance Repair and Overhaul investments, National carrier and airport concessions, amongst others.

He said these components have reached advanced stages and will be completed before the end of president Buhari’s administration.

He challenged investors to tap into the myriads of opportunities in the sector, especially with the recently approved 12 hectares of land for implementation of the aviation roadmap by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Read also: Nigeria loses N1.25trn to aircraft maintenance annually – MD FAAN

“Nigeria’s aviation has a lot of potential and can leverage its population, natural resources and natural resources amongst others to become a leader in Africa. We need to take advantage of these variables,” Sirika said.

He hinted that despite the global oil price increase, recession and COVID-19 impacts, Nigeria’s aviation sector has survived all odds and has recorded an increase from eight million to 18 million
passenger traffic in 2021.

The minister said this shows that Nigeria is the third fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy.

Sirika disclosed that President Buhari would at any moment from now sign into law the passed Civil Aviation Bill by the National Assembly and assured that with the president’s assent to the bill, Nigerian aviation industry would grow rapidly, while more opportunities would also be created for all stakeholders and investors.

Also, Bob Hayes, the first Nigerian pilot in his address congratulated FAAN for putting together the conference to discuss challenges militating the efficiency of this industry, as well as proffering long lasting solutions to the challenges.

Hayes stated that all the government’s roadmap for the sector would grow the industry if well-implemented and called on all investors to partner with the government in order to ensure industry growth.

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