Tuesday , 3 October 2023
Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN with Director General Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu along sideIbom Air Chief Executive Officer, Captain Mfon Udo and the Chief Operating Officer,Mr. George Uriesi at the Ibom Air stand at the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition, 2023

Keyamo impressed with Ibom’s tripod aviation development plan 

  •  Stresses Aircraft Leasing Coy, Maintenance Organisation as key to developing Nigeria to a hub
  • As Ibom receives IATA membership certificate 
Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN has decried that with resources the country boasts of, it is an anomaly that Nigeria is still struggling with being a hub despite its natural position.

He made this known while visiting the stand of the Ibom Air and commending the Ibom Aviation Development Company for their tripod approach to aviation development through the airline, the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility and just completed a smart terminal wondering why the country isn’t a hub.

This is just as the Minister was on ground as the International Air Transport Association ( IATA) today presented IATA Membership Certificate to Ibom Air, at the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition, 2023

The Minister along with the Director General Civil Aviation, Captain Musa Nuhu met with Ibom Air Chief Executive Officer, Captain Mfon Udom and the Chief Operating Officer, Mr. George Uriesi who took time to explain some of the State’s vision for the airline and other aviation investments.

The Minister who was impressed reviewed some of the airline’s plans commending their attitude towards the business and their long term plans

He said, “I don’t know, we have the size, we have the resources, we have the money so I don’t know why we cannot be the hub, we cannot be feeding other African countries.

He also participated in IATA’s presentation of Ibom Air’s Certificate .

Team Airbus and Ibom Air at the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition, 2023

The airline became a full-fledged member of IATA in August as indicated by a welcome letter dated 15 August 2023, where the airline group body’s Director General of IATA, Mr. Willy Walsh announced the airline’s membership.

Earlier while presenting his speech at the conference said it is the vision of this current administration to make Nigeria the Aviation hub of Africa.

Keyamo said Government would focus on upgrading infrastructure, establish aircraft leasing Company, AMOs and make Forex available and provide tax holidays

He said,” In order to attract foreign investors the government is already looking at the following areas to improve Aviation business in Nigeria: i. Upgrading infrastructure: This includes upgrading of the CAT III landing system, at major airports, construction of the second runway in Abuja, airport improvement programmes through Concession and government willingness to partner with companies to turn major airports into Aerotropolis.

On Aircraft Leasing Company, he said,”Government welcomes major players in aircraft leasing and Head lessors to invest in Nigeria airlines to provide state of the art aircraft. Government will ensure enforcement of contract agreement and the rights of investors and indeed all parties are protected; and Nigeria being a signatory to the Cape Town Convention will uphold international obligations.

He further went on to state that the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation was an aspect needed to build capacity to support the industry.

“Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) facility is another critic aspect that can make the Nigerian aviation industry a hub on the continent. With the shortage of qualified engineers, the current administration is willing to provide all the necessary support for the establishment of a world class MROS and training organization.

Speaking on Forex availability and tax holidays he said, “The current administration is aware that one of the setbacks entrepreneurs have suffered in Nigeria in recent years is the fluctuation of foreign exchange and its availability. This administration is committed to ensuring that forex is readily available to entrepreneurs and I have directed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) holds quarterly reconciliation meetings with a view to resolve this issue.

“The current administration is open to provide tax holidays to encourage existing and new entrants into the Nigerian Aviation Sector.

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