Domestic and foreign airlines that operate in Nigeria contribute about N58 billion to the nation’s economy and support 61,000 jobs.
This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation in a new report titled: “Evolving Towards a Risk-based Aviation Safety Strategy”, which outlined plans for the reformation of the sector.
According to the report, airlines registered in Nigeria directly employ 7,000 people locally and support through their supply chain a further 33,000 jobs with further 21,000 jobs supported through the household spending by those employed by airlines and their supply chain.
Also, airlines registered in Nigeria carry about six million passengers and 119,000 tonnes of freight a year to, from and within Nigeria and directly contribute about N29 billion to the GDP.
“The sector contributes indirectly another N17 billion through the output it supports through its supply chain and further N11 billion comes from the spending of the airlines and their supply chains,” the report stated.
The report noted that the plan of the Ministry of Aviation is to further develop the sector to boost revenues accruing from it to the GDP, create more jobs and make airline operation more profitable.
The first step to actualise this, it pointed out, is the modernisation of the airports and other infrastructure that will enhance safe air transport in Nigeria, attract international travellers and enhance local carriers to operate more international destinations.
“Our reform programme therefore will place Nigeria as a hub for the airfreight and passenger flows in the West Africa sub-region in the immediate future and Africa in the long term,” the report said.
The ministry said the reform plan started with the Aviation Master Plan which has the strategic thrust for institutional changes, infrastructure development, dynamic hubs and cargo terminals, free economic zones and perishable cargo villages and improved human capacity development.
The plan also includes technical capacity building for air traffic control personnel and the establishment of the national carrier, Nigeria One.
“The strategy we adopted for implementing the aviation reforms was hinged on three platforms: safety and security, infrastructure development and horizontal growth, including institutional changes, the development of our domestic airlines and the national carrier,” the publication also stated.
The plan, the ministry noted, would encourage private sector participation and foreign direct investment to build and manage airports and other offerings at the airports and these include the already planned project with the Chinese investors that are building four airports terminal at the four major airports in Nigeria, including Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
“The projects have kicked off and it is expected that transparent policy and concession arrangements would attract more investors to the sector to engage in public, private partnership to develop the industry.”