According to the government, the four airports up for concession are the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos; Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; and Port Harcourt international airport.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this during the International Air Transport Association’s Aviation Day 2016 celebration in Abuja, told local and foreign participants at the event that the investment opportunity in Nigeria’s aviation sector was huge.
He said, “The Nigerian economy has high rate of return on investment in excess of 30 per cent. Its aviation sector is full of opportunities, some of which include the concession of airports (Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt); partnerships to establish a national carrier; maintenance, repair and overhaul centre; aviation leasing centre; and development of agro-cargo terminals and associated infrastructure.
“Others are partnerships to upgrade the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology; leisure and hospitality, including hotels and resorts; logistics facilitation, including taxi and car hire; cargo, courier, warehousing, clearing and forwarding; catering and packaging; currency exchange, duty free and tourism guide; and facility management.”
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, noted that Nigeria with about 170 million citizens, was serving the aviation needs of the West and Central African market.
He said, “This belt, with a population of 600 million people, is with a total absence of any significant aviation business. There is no strong carrier, no major maintenance, repair and overhaul centre, no efficient airport; in fact, not even a significant catering company.
“However, as bad as this may sound, it will surely gladden the heart of an investor. So, therefore, Nigerian aviation is as virgin as you will love it.”
Sirika noted, however, that despite the many opportunities in Nigeria, there were numerous challenges that must be addressed.
He stated that the government had been putting in place measures to mitigate the impact of such challenges
The challenges, according to him, are foreign exchange remittance difficulties, cost and availability of aviation fuel, high cost of aircraft maintenance, shortage of manpower and dilapidated infrastructure.