SECRETARY to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha has called for the evolution of new strategies to develop and sustain development of airports in Africa as well as bolster and expand the capacity of its airport to enable it generate revenue to upgrade infrastructure and contribute to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product ( GDP).
Mustapha who declared the 59th Airport Council International (ACI-Africa) Board and Regional Committee Meetings, Conference and Exhibition open today at the Oriental Hotel Lagos expressed how beneficial the conference is to the nation.
According to him, the theme ‘Business Transformation for Sustainable Development of African Airports’ is apt as it is coming at a time when many African countries including Nigeria are intensifying efforts to improve aviation infrastructure.
The SGF maintained that in order to transform the business of aviation in Africa, countries in the region are expected to instal infrastructure and navigational aids to maximise aircraft utilisation for passenger and cargo movement.
He further stated that countries in the continent must continue to attain and maintain global safety standards, achieve cost competitiveness among other things.
” For sustainable development of African airports, new strategies must also evolve. These strategies include holistic planning for defined development targets; effective and efficient financing plan and successful implementation. The role of PPP cannot be over-emphasized and all these would be complemented by a realise legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalize policy,” Mustapha said.
He said,” African countries, including Nigeria are intensifying efforts to improve aviation infrastructure to boost the continent, African States nonetheless still need upgrade facilities, improve operations, service quality, security and airspace safety.”
On the learning curve and benefits of the conference he said that there are over 350 delegates from 42 nations attending the conference with the basics of information and experience sharing among nations in an effort to take what they have learnt and put it into practice for the betterment of the airport.
Mustapha said,”when you hold this kind of conference, you hear experiences from different countries. There are 42 nations here and if each nation is given the opportunity to talk about how they successfully run their airports, FAAN is going to get one or two experiences from there and vice versa.”
” we are not where we want to be but I can assure you we are going somewhere, there is progression and it is not something you attain in one day,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Engineer Saleh Dunoma stated that the evolving nature of airport management shows that they need to change their approach to enable them get revenue from non-aeronautical areas.
He said,”The evolving nature of airport management demands a transformation of airports who now mostly serve as public service providers and not commercial enterprises that are efficiently managed to generate more revenues and subsequently declare profits.”