The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, on Tuesday said he has started work to actualise his five-point agenda to improve the aviation industry.
Keyamo, made this known in a goodwill message during a Webinar on, “Repositioning the Aviation Sector for Revenue Generation and Growth: The Role of Legislation.”
The agenda set out by the Minister under the President Bola Tinubu administration included ensuring strict compliance with national laws and regulations and international obligations; improvement and development of infrastructure for passenger convenience; support for the growth and sustenance of local airline businesses; human capacity development and optimisation of revenue generation.
The Minister said to actualise the five-point agenda for the growth of the Nigerian aviation value chain, the Aviation Ministry was looking forward to a new phase of partnership and collaboration, by leveraging on the immense opportunities in the sector to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and joint-venture partnerships with heads of international economic organisations, presidents of transnational corporations and principals of leading privately-owned enterprises.
“As the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, I am deeply committed to this agenda. In these challenging times, characterised by evolving market dynamics and global uncertainties, the need to reposition our aviation sector for sustainable growth has never been more pressing. It requires vision, resilience, finances, and collaboration,” Keyamo said.
He explained the role of the legislation in developing the aviation industry, noting that legislation provides the overarching framework within which the aviation sector operates.
“It is the bedrock upon which we build our vision for the industry’s future. Thus, it is incumbent upon our legislators to draft policies that promote growth, encourage investment, and ensure safety and security.
“The aviation sector is, first and foremost, a safety and security-critical industry. We ensure, through legislation, that mandatory safety standards provided by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are incorporated in our national laws.
“As such, the role of legislation and indeed legislators in Nigeria’s aviation sector is critical for the development, regulation, and growth of the aviation industry in the country,” he said.
Keyamo noted further that Legislators (comprising the Senate and House of Representatives) of the National Assembly, play various roles to ensure the sector operates efficiently and contributes to Nigeria’s economic development.
“They have the authority to allocate budgets and approve funding for aviation projects, including airport construction and maintenance, procurement of equipment, and safety enhancements. Ensuring adequate funding is crucial for the sector’s growth and development. Legislators also provide oversight by monitoring the implementation of aviation policies and ensuring that both the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), adhere to regulations and carry out their functions effectively,” he said.
Keyamo also stated that repositioning the aviation sector for revenue generation and growth was a collective endeavour, requiring a harmonious partnership between the executive, legislature, and indeed private sector stakeholders.
The Minister also noted that Nigeria was signatory to about 29 International Aviation Treaties and Conventions, remarking that ratifying these international treaties and conventions are made possible through legislation.
“Legislators play a role in ratifying these agreements, and ensuring that they are domesticated in our national laws, which in effect have significant impacts on international air travel and trade and that Nigeria upholds its international obligations therein. We must also remember that a safe and efficient aviation sector is not just an economic imperative but a moral obligation to the millions of passengers who trust our skies every day,” he said.
The Minister, therefore, called on and urged the Nigerian private sector to deepen their collaboration with the Ministry for the growth of the Nigerian aviation industry, expressing optimism that stakeholders participating in today’s webinar session would build on their enviable track records to come up with appropriate strategies for repositioning the aviation sector for revenue generation and growth through the instrumentality of legislation.
“As a government, we are committed to initiatives and policy inputs that will stimulate investment across the aviation value chain,” he added.