Following the aviation sector’s slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges plaguing it, stakeholders on Thursday urged the federal government to consider a stimulus package for industry operators .
“The current economic situation, the scarcity of foreign exchange, the rise in inflation and the lack of infrastructure are factors that afflict the sector. To chart a new direction for the sector, all stakeholders have a role to play,” Osayaba Giwa-Osagie, President of the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC), said at the October breakfast. of the NSACC sponsored by Philips Consulting to celebrate its 30th anniversary yesterday in Lagos.
According to Giwa-Osagie, the government must consider a stimulus package to help airlines facilitate their operations.
He also stressed the need for the government to implement policies and develop infrastructure that will strengthen the sector.
“Additionally, stakeholders should constantly engage the government on ways to reposition itself for profitability and competitiveness. Air operators should adopt creative initiatives to help manage costs and increase efficiency,” said Giwa-Osagie.
He said the aviation industry was a real tool for income generation and economic development in Nigeria. “The Nigerian aviation industry has grown in terms of size, capital, investment, safety and quality management system. The sector is fundamental to facilitating trade, investment and tourism.
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Quoting the National Bureau of Statistics, Giwa-Osagie said, “The aviation industry contributed at least N117.3 billion to the Nigerian economy in the first half of 2022. The Bureau, in its Nigeria Gross Domestic Report in the second quarter of 2022, said the sector raised N84.7 billion in the first quarter and N32.6 billion in the second quarter,” said Giwa-Osagie.
Additionally, George Uriesi, COO of Ibom Air and guest speaker at the breakfast, said domestic airline operators need to be creative in accessing capital. According to him, airlines need a level playing field to thrive.
Speaking on ‘Aviation in Nigeria: What Next? Uriesi said there was a need for industry players to adopt good corporate governance in their day-to-day operations. “We have the market to thrive,” he said.
Samuel Bamidele, head of research and intelligence at Philips Consulting Limited, said “Nigeria’s aviation industry is growing and recovering faster from the pandemic than global projections.” He added that while there are several pressure points or challenges faced by operators in the industry, he expects the industry to continue on a positive trajectory.
He said: “One of the strengths of the Phillips Consulting aviation survey report is low industry capacity, which we infer from the challenges passengers face in obtaining urgent tickets and the costs increased for late bookings.
“Furthermore, we found that 16.24% of survey respondents do not prefer any airline, indicating that existing competition and potential new entrants are strong challengers for market share,” Bamidele said. .