Federal Government in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry is set to procure 30 aircraft as part of its efforts to assist local airlines and inevitably boost domestic operations of the aviation sector.
The Corporate Communications General Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Yakubu Dati, said this while taking a tour around the renovated Benin Airport.
In a statement, Dati said, contrary to old practices of giving out intervention funds to the airlines which they allegedly misused, the aircraft will be bought and afterwards distributed to the domestic airline operators.
He added that the procurement of the aircraft would be funded by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with the Bank of Industry (BoI). The senior official of FAAN said the laudable initiative would help reduce the cost of by air travel in Nigeria.
“ …the issue of assisting domestic carriers has been uppermost on the mind of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah. And that is why the issue of the removal of tariffs and taxes on aviation spare-parts was done by Mr. President.” Dati said.
“This is to help the airlines operate profitably and also make it more attractive for investors because spare-parts are the major cost component on the aviation sector. “So with all these, we believe that eventually, we will now have cheaper tickets and by the time we have cheaper tickets, there will be higher traffic, he added.
“Because if you cut the cost of doing business, then the person doing the business has no reason but to also cut the cost of running it because we believe that one hour flight in Nigeria shouldn’t cost more than N10, 000 or N15, 000. “
And the whole idea is to make the business cheaper and easier to operate so that Nigerians who are the ultimate beneficiaries should be the passengers and they should board with cheaper tickets,” Dati said.