FG, Aircraft lessors begin talks

Onwubuke Melvin
Onwubuke Melvin

The Federal Government has announced it is currently discussing with aircraft leasing and manufacturing companies, in a move to stimulate local investments in the country’s aviation sector.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo via X on Tuesday.

He said that, due to the fact that no airline or government could buy its whole fleet of aircraft in full, major airlines around the world were relying on dry leasing.

According to the Minister, the growth and efficiency of the Nigerian aviation sector , will be stimulated by the establishment of maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities.

Keyamo mentioned the ongoing efforts to attract investors for these facilities, acknowledging their importance in bolstering the aviation sector.

He said “We are determined to go far and wide to woo aircraft leasing companies and aircraft manufacturers to come to our aid. There is no shame in doing this now since we lack the capacity to produce our own aircraft or to purchase them.”

In addition, the Minister called on the Government to provide an enabling environment for strong foreign investors to thrive.

He noted, “Should the government completely abandon local operators to fend for themselves? What can the government do to help in this regard? It is simple: The government should provide the enabling environment for these businesses to thrive by providing assurances to aircraft manufacturers and leasing companies around the world that their aircraft are safe within the country if they lease them to our businesses here; that includes assurances and guarantees that these creditors can secure their assets anytime there is a default.”

“This is in line with the Cape Town Convention, to which Nigeria is a signatory. It is our duty as the government to provide this comfort and assurance to the potential lessors. We are currently on top of that, and the package will be revealed soon. The lack of this is one big factor that has led to the high mortality rate of airlines in Nigeria in the last 40+ years. There are other factors, too,” the minister expounded.

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