Following the slow recovery of the aviation sector from the covid-19 pandemic and the socio-economic challenges plaguing the sector, stakeholders in the Nigeria aviation sector yesterday, converged on Lagos to chart a new way forward for the sector.
“The current economic situation, foreign exchange scarcity, rising inflation, and inadequate infrastructure are factors that are plaguing the sector. To chart a new direction for the sector, all stakeholders have a role to play,” Osayaba Giwa-Osagie, chairman, Nigeria South-Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC), said during the October breakfast meeting of the NSACC sponsored by Phillips Consulting to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
He stated further that the government must consider stimulus packages to support airlines towards aiding their smooth operations. According to him, there is a need for the government to implement policies and develop infrastructures that will strengthen the sector.
“Also stakeholders should constantly engage the government on ways to reposition the sector to be profitable and competitive. Air operators should adopt creative initiatives to help manage cost and build efficiencies,” Giwa-Osagie said.
According to him, the aviation industry is a veritable tool for income generation and economic development in Nigeria. “The Nigeria Aviation industry has grown in size, capital, investment, safety and quality management system. The sector is fundamental in facilitating trade, investment and tourism.
“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the aviation industry contributed at least N117.3 billion to Nigeria’s economy within the first half of 2022. The Bureau in its Nigeria Gross domestic report second quarter 2022, stated that the sector raised 84.7 million in the first quarter and 32.6 billion in the second quarter,” Giwa-Osagie said.
George Uriesi, the chief operating officer, Ibom Air and guest speaker at the breakfast meeting, said domestic airline operators must be creative in accessing capital. According to him, the airlines need a level playing field to thrive.
Speaking on ‘Aviation in Nigeria: What next? Uriesi said that there is a need for players in the sector to embrace good corporate governance in their day-to-day operation. “We have the market to thrive,” he said.
Samuel Bamidele, head of research and intelligence, Phillips Consulting Limited (pcl), said
Nigeria’s aviation industry is growing and recovering faster from the pandemic than global projection. He stated further that while there are several pressure points or challenges facing operators in the industry, pcl expects the industry to continue on a positive trajectory.
“One of the highlights of the Phillips Consulting (pcl.) aviation survey report is the low capacity in the industry, which we infer from challenges passengers face with securing urgent tickets and increased costs for late bookings. In addition, we found that 16.24 % of survey respondents do not prefer any airline, indicating that existing competition and potential new entrants are strong challengers for market share,” Bamidele said.
Paul Ayim, senior partner, pcl, said the firm launched the aviation Center of Excellence (CoE) as a vehicle to research and disseminate best practices in the sector and facilitate alignment of structure, processes, people and metrics to strategy. “The CoE leverages on our 30 years’ experience supporting clients and stakeholders in Nigeria’s aviation industry on transformation projects and initiatives”.
Dele Phillips, commercial partner, pcl, said that the firm will continue to serve as a hub for excellence towards achieving its growth trajectory as a people and for the nation. “I was fortunate to see pcl take off 30 years ago. Since then, we have taken flight to achieve many great things in the clear sky.
“This great place to work is much more than an organisation but also a haven for over 200 Alumni members who have passed through and given pcl, their utmost best. We thank everybody that has been a part of our success story and look forward to a bold future of transforming possibilities with you,” Philips said