Nigeria has commenced the process of unlocking the over $7.2 billion (over N3.3trn) projected aviation annual contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The concrete efforts began on Tuesday in Abuja at the Single African Air Transport Market Pilot Implementation Project (SAATM – PIP) Cluster 1 Coalition Roadshow (Nigeria).
With implementation of open skies, according to a study on SAATM by Embraer (2020), in 2038, using traffic forecasts and economic impact estimates from ICAO, Nigeria’s aviation industry would contribute some $1.3 billion to GDP. That number would rise to $7.2 billion when factoring the induced and indirect catalytic effects of tourism.
Aviation could generate 800,000 jobs of which 60,000 would be directly associated with airline operations.
The road to.unlocking these possibilities has begin with this roadshow said Adefunke Adeyemi, the Secretary General of the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC), said. AFCAC is the implementing body of SAATM.
“This is event is to begin the work of accelerating of connectivity accross Africa, with ECOWAS and Nigeria in particular at the centre of this work. This event is about is really focused on trying to ensure that Africa is better connected. AFCAC is the executing body to drive this agenda” she said.
“In this roadshow, we are focusing on fifth freedom.routes. And for you to have fuft freedom routes, you need a group of three countries and that is our cluster approach. Nigeria is one of our cluster countries and we are going country by country to address them. The operators are here and the airports are here, they will say what the challenges are and we will address them.
Our target is to increase fifth freedom.routes penetration from what it’s currently is which is, 14.5 percent to 30 percent in 2025″ she further explained.
Commenting at the roadshow, the Director General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu said Nigeria is the first country where this roadshow is happening.
He noted that this shows the importance of Nigeria as the largest African country in terms of GDP, population, actual and potential passengers post SAATM implementation.
He said the implementation needs to to start. “For those that are committed, let’s start. So if others see the benefits, they will join” he said..
He said the African civil aviation authorities needs to also help facilitate the process.
“The CAA will help the government fashion policies on fifth freedom routes because this is key to SAATM. A significant number of our BASAs are fifth freedom. CAA also has a role to accept designated airlines and the costs of operating into other countries” he said.