The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is attracting investors to the airports by providing them land for aviation and non-aeronautical facilities, its Managing Director, Saleh Dunoma, has said.
In an interview, he said the authority had worked out a template to attract investors interested in infrastructure, including construction and management of hangar facilities and fixed base operations (FBOs).
He listed other projects to include hotels, construction and management of automated car parks, development of terminal buildings, construction of runways, taxiways and aprons; construction and management of helipads and construction and management of independent power plants (IPPs) and aviation fuel deposit facility.
Dunoma explained that for third party businesses, FAAN provided land or developed aviation and non-aeronautical facilities in line with the agency’s commercial and investment policy on leases and rentals.
“It is easy to see why several factors work in our favour. FAAN offers an array of irresistible incentives and doing business with us has become a lot easier.”
“We are investing heavily in the renewal and expansion of infrastructure at our airports with five international buildings nearing completion at Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu airports,” he said.
“Our aim is to create capacity and promote excellent investment environment. With tourism growing in direct proportion to the economy, international best practice regulatory policies in place and world class service delivery at our airports, we are poised for a significant growth in passenger traffic and therefore confident that investors, both local and foreign, would realise prompt and significant returns on their investments.”
He said the industry contributes over $1 billion to the economy yearly and supports more that 150,000 jobs, thereby creating business opportunities for indigeneous and foreign investors.
“In the interest of transparency, FAAN advertises all commercial concessions and infrastructural facilities and calls for bids for such concession/facilities from local and international investors,” Dunoma added.
He said there was a link among economic prosperity, population growth and airport, airline and tourism activities.
“A number of indices can make FAAN and by extension tourism in Nigeria attractive and flourishing. Investors will find both the new and improved airports as well as Nigeria generally a haven for investment.”
“We have stable democratic government, potentially popular tourist destination in a country of scenic beauty with airport connection in Cross River, Bauchi, Kwara, Osun, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa states,” the FAAN boss said.
“Over the years, FAAN has realised that the private sector must be engaged to develop and boost business at the airports. That is the way it is in other parts of the world.”
“With this new strategy, it is hoped that in the coming years FAAN would earn more from nonaeronautical revenue sources than from aeronautical sources. This will prompt the agency to review downwards the aeronautical charges, which would invariably attract more airlines into the country,” he said.
He said despite the decision of the Federal Government to concession airport facilities, the FAAN had adopted the system of partnering with the private sector, a strategy that has gained traction about four years ago when the number of international airlines that operated into the country doubled.
With the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano hosting more foreign carriers since 2012, FAAN has to boost its commercial offering to cater for the needs of increasing passenger traffic as it built more shops and other commercial facilities to attract investment from the private sector.
This has boosted the non-aeronautical revenues of the agency, expected to rise in the future as the country gears to increase its perishable goods export and as it is expected that passenger growth despite economic recession would rise by 15 percent by 2019.
Dunoma said more international airlines have added the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos to their long haul schedules, including one from the USA, two from the Middle East, one from Far East and several regional airlines.