Aviation sector records 13.5% growth in international operations in 18 months
Nigeria’s aviation sector recorded an average growth of 33 per cent on domestic operations and 13.5 per cent on international operations between January, 2017 to June, 2018.
Minister of State, Aviation Hadi Sirika Sirika made this known recently in Lagos, adding that this growth is unprecedented in the country. He noted that the growth was made possible by the enabling environment provided for domestic airlines by the Buhari administration.
The administration’s policies have enabled domestic operators to acquire necessary certification in the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Currently, five Nigerian domestic airlines have certification, while some were designated for international operations.
Speaking recently to journalists, he said that in the areas of State Safety Programmes, Nigeria has attained Level three out of four levels, thereby moving Nigeria from red to green on the ICAO dashboard.
He added that in line with ICAO and World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) standards, in July 2017, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency acquired ISO 9001 2015 certificate, which qualifies it to offer aeronautical meteorological services, making the agency the first in Africa to be so certified in that category.
“The Ministry has recorded significant achievements in virtually all aspects of the sector in the past three years as follows: Growing and Sustaining the domestic aviation industry; re-introduction of zero import duties on aircraft, engine and introduction of same for spare parts; intervention to rescue Arik Air and Aero Contractors from total collapse is another milestone, which would have led to the demise of the two airlines and cause huge loss of jobs by professionals in the sector. The two airlines are today still in operation, under receivership.
“Just last December, this government through the approval of President Buhari paid 50 percent of severance and retirement benefits to 5,966 staff of the former national carrier, Nigeria Airways. The beneficiaries even held a ‘thank you’ rally to appreciate Buhari for walking the talk.”