• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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BusinessDay

Why collaborations are needed to facilitate growth in Nigeria’s aviation sector

Travel stakeholders call for action on intra-Africa travel, exchanges to grow continent’s economy

Aviation is indubitably a major driver of globalization and development in the modern world. It is a key component of the business world, as over a third of the global trade by value is carried through air transportation.

Reports show that the aviation industry supports over 87 million jobs around the world, cutting across direct employment, industry value chain, as well as the tourism sector with the industry fast, becoming the world’s largest.

Currently, conservative estimates suggest that aviation supports up to 44.8 million jobs within the tourism industry alone.

The actual scale of contribution that aviation makes to economic growth can be measured through analysis of its revenue. The industry offers immense value to the global economy with up to $3.5 trillion support in economic activity, representing 4.1 percent of global gross domestic product.

Experts opine that if aviation were a country, it would rank 17th in the world based on gross domestic product, as it generates up to $691.3 billion annually, considerably larger than several G20 economies.

When combined with its supply chain and dependent industries, including its contribution to tourism, aviation provides significant additional economic benefits by encouraging trade and international investment.

As a key contributor to global economic prosperity, the relevance of the aviation industry in Nigeria’s socio-economic development cannot be overstated. Given its contribution of $10 billion to GDP, Nigeria’s aviation industry is one of the most thriving in Africa.

Beyond the myriad of economic benefits, the cultural and social impacts of aviation present another big package by connecting billions of people, cultures and businesses across continents.

Read also: UK travel ban: Airlines risk N965m daily

The Nigerian aviation industry experienced growth in five years to 2019 with the number of airlines, passenger traffic and cargo movement experiencing considerable increases over the period. In the last five years, domestic airlines have grown exponentially with up to 23 airlines becoming fully operational. The airlines acquired additional aircraft and applications for Air Operating Certificates (AOC) increased.

Then suddenly came the cold winds of adversity – the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the global aviation ecosystem badly, flipping the tourism and hospitality businesses on their heads.

On the one hand, global restrictions on air travels were needed to curtail the spread of the virus. On the other hand, the measures spelt a full-scale crisis for the transportation sector generally with massive losses of traffic and revenues.

According to a report by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the pandemic cost the airline industry about $1bn and a total loss of $800bn to the Nigerian economy. Beyond the economic impact, the livelihoods of thousands were stymied with reports showing about 24,000 jobs losses while many employers suspended salary payments.

The post lockdown economy has presented a myriad of opportunities for Nigeria to expedite the growth of the aviation industry through innovative solutions that would change the narratives in the business.

There is a need for collaborative efforts between the government and relevant stakeholders within the private sector towards assuaging the constraints to value chain development.

Countries are continually relaxing travel restrictions and the future is once more brightening for aviation industries around the world. Bold and innovative actions are called for to act on the new opportunities emerging for Nigeria and Africa.

Able people and organisations are rising to the challenge to transform Nigeria’s aviation industry into a global powerhouse, including an aviation specialist firm, Copterjet International.

The company, which officially launched last October, has called for strategic collaboration with stakeholders to drive growth, transformation and development in Nigeria’s aviation value chain.

More than ever, there is a need for the acceleration of sectoral transformation and Copterjet is resolute in its vision to attain new standards of safety and efficiency as well as mobilization of investment capital for industry retooling and recovery.

In order to achieve this, financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders need to work in tandem – a fact the company acutely recognizes and aims to address with its services. The company offers aviation consulting, aircraft brokerage (acquisition, marketing and sales), aviation asset development and management and logistical services.

Toluwa Victor Olorunyonmi, chief executive officer, Copterjet International, has since elucidated the avenues in which growth can be accelerated in the industry, stating that the company has developed strategies geared towards harnessing the opportunities from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At CopterJet, our vision is premised on a resolute mandate to transform the aviation industry in Nigeria and beyond. We have drawn a detailed roadmap with back-end strategy geared towards driving major initiatives that would herald a new era of opportunities that would position Nigeria’s aviation industry as a global powerhouse. Our coming marks the beginning of a new dawn and also a historic event in the aviation industry”, he stated.

“As a nation, if we must drive the economy, we must initiate a collaboration to move the industry forward. We must drive the aviation industry to propel growth across sectors and industries in the economy”, he added.

With Africa being the largest market for passenger flows to and from Nigeria, according to International Air Transportation Association (IATA), the Nigerian aviation industry is a goldmine that could propel the nation to the fore of global competitiveness.

However, this can only be achieved by stakeholders working cohesively to develop strategies geared towards building strong and dynamic partnerships to drive structural transformation.