The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, has called on the Nigerian Legislature to draft policies that promote growth, encourage investment and enhance safety and security in the aviation sector.
Keyamo, who was speaking during a recent webinar themed ‘Repositioning the Aviation Sector for Revenue Generation and Growth: The Role of Legislation,’ highlighted the critical role of the aviation sector as a vital lifeline that connects nations, fosters tourism, and drives economic growth. He noted that an efficient air transport system significantly contributes to a country’s economic development.
The minister stressed that legislators play a crucial role in ensuring the aviation sector operates efficiently, which, in turn, contributes to Nigeria’s economic growth.
He pointed out that the aviation sector is more than just an industry; it serves as a lifeline that connects nations, facilitates trade, promotes tourism, and drives economic growth.
Keyamo cited data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), indicating that the aviation sector contributed approximately 117 billion Naira, equivalent to 4 per cent of the National GDP, in the first quarter of 2022. The sector also supports approximately 200,000 jobs and contributes around N8.5 billion in taxes annually. The Minister commended these achievements and noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda is committed to building on them.
As part of the ministry’s mandate, which includes formulating and managing government aviation policies, overseeing air transportation, developing and maintaining airports, providing aviation infrastructure services, and addressing other sector needs, Keyamo outlined a five-point agenda: Ensuring strict compliance with national laws, regulations, and international obligations.
Improving and developing passenger convenience infrastructure; Supporting the growth and sustainability of local airline businesses; Focusing on human capacity development; Optimising revenue generation.
Keyamo emphasised that legislators hold the authority to allocate budgets and approve funding for aviation projects, including airport construction and maintenance, procurement of equipment and safety enhancements. Adequate funding is vital for the sector’s growth and development.
To achieve the five-point agenda and promote growth in the Nigerian aviation value chain, the Ministry aims to establish partnerships and collaborations. These efforts will leverage the sector’s vast opportunities to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and Joint-Venture Partnerships with international economic organisations, transnational corporations, and privately-owned enterprises.
Keyamo also emphasised the oversight role of legislators in monitoring the implementation of aviation policies. They ensure that both the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) adhere to regulations and effectively carry out their functions.
The minister expressed his appreciation to the organser of the webinar, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba for creating an advocacy platform that addresses contemporary national issues and gathers relevant policy input for national growth.