The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, has canvassed the need for the development of new strategies in order to achieve sustainable development of African airports.
He gave the advice this while declaring the 59thACI Board and Committees Meetings and Regional Conference and Exhibition which opened today in Lagos
Specifically, he listed some of the strategies required to enhance the standards of airports in the continent to include holistic planning for defined development targets, effective and efficient financing plan and successful implementation.
According to him, achieving the goals of these strategies require a reliable legal, institutional and regulatory framework to institutionalise policy.
The SGF explained further that the importance of aviation as a critical tool for social and economic development cannot be over emphasised, considering its potential for immense contributions to the broader economy.
“In 2017, the sector facilitated the movement of over 7.6 billion passengers,109 million tons of cargo and recorded 89 million aircraft movements. With a highly mobile population of 180 million people, these explain the importance Nigeria attaches to the sector and the reason why Mr. President readily approved the hosting of the event”, he said.
Noting that the theme of the conference – ‘Business Transformation for Sustainable Development of African Airports’ – as appropriate, particularly coming at a time most African countries, are intensifying efforts to improve aviation infrastructure to boost the continent’s economic development, the SGF attributed President Buhari’s approval for Nigeria to host the 59th Airport Council International (ACI) forum to the sector’s contribution to the nation’s economy.
He pointed out that though these efforts had significantly improved the state of aviation infrastructure in the continent, African states still needed to upgrade facilities, improve operations, service quality, security and airspace safety in order to consolidate on the modest achievements in the aviation sector..
To transform aviation business in Africa, Boss charged governments in the continent to continue to attain and maintain global safety standards, strive to achieve competitiveness and user friendliness and invest in infrastructure and navigational aids.
Other imperatives he canvassed for the government to grow the sector include achieving costs competitiveness, develop integrated multi-modal transport system around the airports and diversify revenue lines.
Noting that in Nigeria, majority of the airport infrastructure are government-owned, he restated the present administration’s commitment to promote infrastructural development, facilities renewal and the implementation of policies aimed at facilitating the growth and sustainability of the sector.
To justify his position, the SGF listed some key events and projects undertaken by the Federal Government to achieve its objectives as certification of two of the nation’s key airports; and the construction of five new international terminals, amongst others.
Boss described the ACI as a veritable platform for the development of best practices in airports management, professionalism and key driver of policies in the aviation industry since 1991, thereby making it a top player amongst other associations in the global aviation industry.