SGF gives recipe for sustainable development of airports in Africa

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*Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, flanked by the director general, ACI-World, Ms Angela Gittens and ACI-Africa President and managing director of FAAN, Mr. Saleh Dunoma at the 59th ACI-Africa Board and Regional Committee Meetings, Conference and Exhibition held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos

Secretary to the government of the federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha has said that most African countries including Nigeria are intensifying efforts to improve aviation infrastructure to boost the continent’s economic development.

Speaking at the opening of the 59th Airport Council International (ACI)-Africa Regional Conference and Exhibition holding in Lagos, Mustapha said though the state of aviation infrastructure on the continent has improved significantly over the years, Africa nonetheless, still needs to upgrade facilities, improve operations, service quality, security and airspace safety.

To transform aviation business in Africa, he said countries would be expected to continue to attain and maintain global safety standards, strive to achieve competitiveness and user-friendliness, install infrastructure and navigation aids to maximise aircraft utilisation for ‘ passenger and cargo movement, achieve costs competitiveness, develop integrated multi-modal transport system around the airports as well as diversify revenue lines.

“For sustainable development of African airports, new strategies must also evolve. These strategies include holistic planning for defined development targets, effective and efficient financing plan and successful implementation.

“The role of partnership with the private sector cannot be over-emphasised. All these would be complemented by a reliable legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalise policy,” he said.

Talking about Nigeria, Mustapha said majority of airport infrastructure are government-owned.

He said the federal government had continued to promote infrastructural development, facilities renewal and implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the growth and sustainability of the sector.

He listed some of the key events and projects undertaken to achieve government’s objectives include hosting the International World Aviation Forum in Abuja, certification of two of the Murtala Muhammed lnternational Airport Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, construction of five new international terminals at Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu airports to expand passenger handling capacity to 15 million annually.

Others are implementation of aviation sector roadmap which was approved in 2016 aimed at opening opportunities for investment, concession of four international airports, establishment of search and rescue unit to be implemented through public and private partnership, establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) with the mandate to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks and constraints to doing business in Nigeria and issuance of executive orders aimed at facilitating and easing entry experience of investors, visitors and travellers at the nation’s ports.

He said the full implementation of the aviation roadmap which is progressing in line with milestone targets will result in the transformation of business and economic growth in the sector.

He added that the federal government “is committed to attracting investors and investments into Nigeria and is providing appropriate legislation, infrastructure and security to protect them.”

“It is clear that ACI and Nigeria are in sync on the development of the aviation industry in Africa. Our goal is long-term business sustainability and we are happy to have a dependable ally in ACI,” he said.

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