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Nigeria passenger traffic to grow at seven per cent in 10 years

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Analysts have projected that Nigeria’s passenger traffic will exceed that of the global aviation sector with about a seven per cent growth rate in the next 10 years, while the global industry remains at 5.3 per cent.

The Director, Commercial and Business Development of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Sadiku Rafindadi, while speaking at the National Aviation Conference Investment Forum yesterday, in Abuja, noted that the aviation industry is pivotal to the socio-economic growth of Nigeria.

He disclosed that in 2020, the domestic and international passenger traffic stood at 9.3million as against 15.8million in 2021, representing a difference of 41 per cent.

Citing a recent aviation sector study by International Air Transportation Association (lATA) in June 2020, Rafindadi said the organisation showcased the significant contributions of aviation to the national economy by providing 241,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, supported through the sector’s supply chain to the tune of $1.7 billion to the national economy.

The Director lamented that the Nigerian aviation market is huge, yet untapped, but FAAN intends to harness available opportunities with the 21 airports in its control.

He added that the sector is strategically positioned to take advantage of expected growth in the African market due to its proximity to Europe, Middle East and the rest of Africa as most of West & Central Africa is within a 4-hour flying time from Nigeria with no clear dominating airline present.

He stated that FAAN is changing its business model for a self-sustaining framework through increased private sector participation, thereby, reducing the financial burden on the government.

Rafindadi said FAAN is maximizing the contribution to the socio-economic development of Nigeria through increased tourism, trade and inflow of FDI; focusing on the growth of agro-allied and improved economic processing zones at the designated airports.

The Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu in his remarks mentioned that the 12,000 hectares for the development of Abuja airport recently provided the FCTA offers an opportunity for investors to invest in the Nigerian aviation industry.

He maintained that the Nigerian aviation industry offers several opportunities for investments and as a regulator, they are working to unbundle the regulations so as to make it easier for people to invest in all areas, especially in general aviation.