FOUNDER and President of International Partners for Aviation Development, Innovation and Sustainability (iPADIS), Dr. Olumuyiwa Bernard Aliu has said that to achieve a success factor funding aviation, there must be a National Aviation Development plan that prioritizes the national strategic importance of aviation in the scheme of things.
This is just as he said a lack Corporate Governance and best management practice, vibrant liberalized market, socio-economic stability , as well as institutional, legal and regulatory monitoring are some factors that militate against investments in the aviation industry that can lead to infrastructural growth.
He gave his submissions virtually while participating at the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) Q3 Breakfast Business meeting themed: Funding Aviation Infrastructure Deficit in Nigeria Using Private Capital: Challenges and Prospects.
According to him, apart from prioritizing aviation, government needs to recognize air transport as a catalyst and major contributor to economic growth, sustainability and synergy with other sectors; tourism, trade, finance and public health inclusive.
The iPADIS founder stated that it didn’t matter the ownership or source of funding but that corporate governance had become a cultural problem in Nigeria, considering the fact that Nigerians are in the diaspora helping other countries with their infrastructure challenges and getting applause.
Also speaking, President of ASRTI, Dr. Gbenga Olowo emphasized the need for the country to begin to address the existing infrastructure challenges and take advantage of existing improvement prospects.Olowo in his welcome address said that the ART has repeatedly treated the topic of infrastructure deficit since 2015 but raised more questions instead of the solutions.
He said,”ART has repeatedly treated this topic since 2015 almost every year. But where are we? Who is doing what? How has the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) delivered on its Key Performance Index (KPI)? And how transparent? How easy is the much touted ‘ease of doing business’?
” We hear Nigeria is in a debt trap with galloping interest rate,inflation and battered exchange rate through continuous borrowing for infrastructure. What are the impediments that scare away would be private investors from Nigeria (especially Nigerian born investors who are doing exploits in other economies?
Other speakers at the event admitted that private capital investment was needed for a quantum leap.
However, Professor Bamidele Badejo of the Department of Geography, Olabisi Onabanjo University said even though there was need for private capital investment in aviation infrastructure, the Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC) should collaborate with the industry to first, identify specific existing deficits while the private capital entrepreneurs must make full disclosures of their assets and liabilities and prove their competences before approval as against what has happened over the years that contributed to failure of Public Private Partnerships on infrastructure.
The importance of good corporate governance was also emphasized by all other speakers at the event including Mr. Raphael Kuuchi, Consulting Director, African Airlines Association (AFRAA), Mr. Abiola Lukeman Lawal, Mrs. Adebimpe Ajimotokin of Guarantee Trust Bank and Engr. Femi Adeniji.