The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) constituted committee set up to make Nigeria the preferred air cargo destination with the right infrastructure and organisation have been given deadlines to submit their final reports for consideration and implementation.
The Committee inaugurated in December, 2022 by the Managing Director, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu comprised major stakeholders in the air cargo export eco-system have met and have drafted experts in the air cargo export to drive the process.
Coordinator of the Committee, Mr. Ikechi Uko constituted three sub-committees on airport, export and cargo to be headed by a chairman and co-chairmen with terms of reference and timeline to put together their findings, challenges and solutions.
At the inauguration of the sub committees on Tuesday, Mr. Uko said current data showed that Nigeria does more import than export, a development that is negatively affecting the nation’s economy.
According to him, this imbalance can be addressed because Nigeria has the potential to do so stressing that it can move up from its 5th position to upstage Kenya which is currently the number one in air cargo hub in Africa, adding that, it is doable if all hands are on deck.
He said, “We have the largest economy in Africa, we have the largest population, we are probably the most entrepreneurial, we have very busy airports but we are number 5 in cargo, aviacargo in Africa. Lagos economy is bigger than Kenya in GDP, yes, Kenya is number 5 in Africa and Lagos is number four yet Kenya doesn’t have the biggest airline, doesn’t have the largest airport, doesn’t have the largest population, it has a small economy yet Kenya is number one and Nigeria is number 5.”
“What are we not doing right? How do we take advantage of the size of our economy? How do we take advantage of our population, our enterprise? There are no top 10 Kenyan billionaires in Africa, we have all the rich men but we don’t do well in this area. So, we decided along with FAAN that something needs to be done”.
The airport team, have been given terms of reference find out how to make Nigeria the number one air cargo airport in Africa, the challenges getting to that position (NEEDS assessment), gaps between current and achieving desired outcome, how to make Lagos and Abuja attractive as hubs, review or create Airport Master plan, Airport vision and development strategy, establish development, planning expanding none airside business Freezone Integration and airport warehousing.
Others are: the freezone integration strategy warehousing integration, how do the plans devolve into getting the airports ready for cargo – additional recommendations, infrastructure planning and handling (time-sensitive parcels, C2C bulks loads, small packages, large regulars, and special cargo items), what are the Forecasts and projections -create and adjust forecasts for overall objective gaps and closing the current failures, amongst others.
They have been given 10th March 2023 to turn in their final Report.
The Cargo Team given up till 28th March, 2023 to submit their final report, is to find the factors surrounding and limiting the growth in Aviacargo(collate the factors), Itemise a breakdown of the factors and constraints (ie multiple taxation etc.), the percentage of impact for each identified factor/constraint.Others are: “graph the impacts, recommend ways to mitigate the constraints, opportunity for scaling the numbers, industries and users that can scale the opportunity, how would the constraints be removed, the possible projections if the limitations are removed and Aircargo industry and impacts, among others.
For the Export team, the deadline for submission of the final report is 8th March, 2023 and it is to find out: produce for export, (Complete List), the existing markets for Nigerian products, the challenges with production and why Nigeria exports do not meet destination requirements.
“How to increase production, Industries and Users that can scale the Opportunity Itemize a breakdown of the factors and constraints (i.emultiple taxation etc.), the challenges in transporting the products to the point of export, the challenges faced in regulatory framework”.
Others are, “the challenges faced by our exports at the destinations (product by product), the possibility to transform our raw materials currently being exported, Identify sources for transformation at airport, What else can be exported and to which markets?, What are the potential new markets (by product)Provide projections in tonnage for potential opportunities.
What do we put in place for a successful export market ie Packaging, Proper Warehousing, etc”.
Mr. Uko charged the committees to be dedicated to their duties to achieving an increase in air cargo export and put Nigeria in the world map as a major hub of air cargo movement in Africa.