From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it is moving to contribute immensely to the ease of doing business in Nigeria with the upcoming Airports Council International (ACI) regional conference to be hosted by FAAN.
FAAN Managing Director Engr. Saleh Dunoma disclosed at the unveiling of the 59th ACI-Africa Board and Committees Meetings & Regional Conference and Exhibition slated to hold in Lagos.
According to Dunoma, the event scheduled to take place from 14-20 April 2018 in Lagos, under the theme “Business transformation for sustainable development of African airports” will be hosting regional and international delegates from the aviation industry.
He said “In line with the Presidential mandate on Ease of doing business in Nigeria, this conference will bring together professionals who will bring together their wealth of experience to come up with positions that will ensure the ease of doing airport business in Nigeria and Africa. This conference will bring together investors from all over the world.
Nigeria is currently seeking investments in the various industries especially in the aviation industry. This conference will afford investors firsthand information about the needs and opportunities in the Nigerian aviation sector.
He added that airports have the potential to be generators of economic growth, job creators and facilitators of international trade and tourism. To ensure these roles and continue to reap the benefits, airports must ensure sustainable development that includes the enhancement of non-aeronautical revenues as a critical component of an airport’s revenue stream and bottom line.
With less than 20% of commercial revenue, airports in Africa must transform themselves from being not just public service providers but commercial enterprises that generate profits.
The conference will highlight the importance of industry partners and public-private partnership for innovative project creation, leadership and strategic planning as tools to achieve these goals.
Dunoma, who was elected President of ACI-Africa in October 2016 further noted that, “This conference comes on the heels of agreement by 23 African countries create a single market for air transportation on the continent. It therefore offers a wonderful opportunity to share knowledge, develop policies and strategies aimed at attracting investment for the development of our national and regional aviation industries.”
The much-anticipated Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), an initiative of the African Union (AU), was signed in Addis Ababa earlier this year. Jobs for the continent’s burgeoning youth population, enhanced intra-Africa trade, convenient regional travel, and contribution to GDP, particularly tourism are some of the expected benefits of the agreement.
According to research by the International Air Transport Association, an open skies agreement among Africa’s 12 biggest economies could see passenger traffic soar by 81% to about 11m. It could generate 155,000 new jobs, adding $1.3 billion to the continent’s GDP. It could provide 17,400 jobs in Nigeria and contribute $128m to GDP.
Ali Tounsi, Secretary General, ACI-Africa and delegates from over 40 African countries with over 250 airports will attend the six-day event at Lagos Oriental Hotel.
Conference sessions will feature industry experts who will share their experience of technologies, innovations, strategies, mindset and business models to improve operations and boost revenue. Alongside the meetings and conference, airports, service providers and aviation companies will exhibit their products and services at a large-scale exhibition.
ACI-Africa, an association of Africa’s airports, is part of Airport Council International (ACI), the global trade representative of airport authorities throughout the world. With over 50 members operating 250 airports in 47 countries throughout the continent, it is the voice of African airports – leading, representing and serving the African airport community.