In ten years, passenger traffic in Nigeria is expected to increase by 7%

Ken Ibenne

Ken Ibenne

Analysts predict that in the next ten years, Nigeria’s passenger traffic will exceed that of the global aviation sector, growing at a rate of roughly 7%, while the global industry grows at 5.3 percent.

Sadiku Rafindadi, Director, Commercial and Business Development, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said yesterday in Abuja at the National Aviation Conference Investment Forum that the aviation industry is critical to Nigeria’s socio-economic development.

He revealed that in 2020, domestic and international passenger traffic was 9.3 million, compared to 15.8 million in 2021, a difference of 41%.

Rafindadi cited a June 2020 study by the International Air Transportation Association (lATA) that highlighted the significant contributions of aviation to the national economy by providing 241,000 jobs, both directly and indirectly, supported by the sector’s supply chain worth $1.7 billion to the national economy.

The Director bemoaned that the Nigerian aviation market is vast and undeveloped, but FAAN plans to take advantage of existing prospects with its 21 airports.

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

FAAN is transforming its business model to become self-sustaining through more private sector participation, lessening the government’s financial load, he said.

FAAN, according to Rafindadi, is maximizing its contribution to Nigeria’s socio-economic development by increasing tourism, trade, and FDI inflows, as well as focusing on the expansion of agro-allied and better economic processing zones at designated airports.

Capt. Musa Nuhu, Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), stated in his remarks that the 12,000 hectares recently allocated by the FCTA for the construction of Abuja airport presents a chance for investors to invest in the Nigerian aviation business.

He stated that the Nigerian aviation business provides numerous investment opportunities, and that as a regulator, they are working to unbundle rules to make it easier for people to invest in all areas, particularly general aviation.

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