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Nigeria Government Working to Enhance Equipment Access for Indigenous Airlines: Minister Festus Keyamo

Boom RadioNG | March 31, 2024
Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

In an effort to facilitate easy access to equipment for indigenous airlines, Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, has revealed that the Federal Government is diligently working behind the scenes. Keyamo expressed regret over Nigeria being blacklisted by some leasing companies and aircraft manufacturers in dry lease arrangements, citing past failures of adherence to agreements by certain domestic airlines. However, he assured that the government is determined to improve the situation for operators and address these challenges. Keyamo also highlighted the positive impact of Air Peace’s direct Lagos-London route, which is expected to alleviate pressure on the Nigerian currency and reduce the demand for foreign exchange from both Nigerian and foreign airlines.

Key Points:

  • The Federal Government is focused on ensuring easy access to equipment for indigenous airlines.
  • Some leasing companies and aircraft manufacturers have blacklisted Nigeria due to past breaches of agreements by domestic airlines.
  • The government is committed to changing the narrative and improving conditions for operators.
  • Air Peace’s launch of the Lagos-London route has compelled other mega carriers on the same route to reduce fares.
  • The government aims to support local operators in accessing lease arrangements similar to what Air Peace has achieved.

Enhancing Lease Arrangements and Protecting Assets

Minister Keyamo emphasized the importance of addressing concerns raised by leasing companies and aircraft manufacturers, such as Airbus, regarding the protection of their assets in Nigeria. He acknowledged the challenges faced by these companies when breaches occur and emphasized the need to assure them that their assets can be safely taken out of the country. By actively engaging with these entities, Keyamo aims to foster confidence and reverse Nigeria’s current position on the dry lease blacklist.

Air Peace’s London Route and Foreign Exchange Stability

The introduction of Air Peace’s direct Lagos-London route has significant benefits for the aviation industry and the Nigerian economy as a whole. Minister Keyamo highlighted that the presence of a local airline on this route eliminates the problem of trapped funds, as sales proceeds from tickets do not need to be repatriated to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This results in increased liquidity in terms of foreign exchange, as the funds can be readily used without creating additional pressure on the naira. Keyamo also noted the substantial repatriation of funds by foreign airlines operating in Nigeria and the strain it puts on the currency, as they have to seek dollars from commercial banks and the CBN.

Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

Mr. Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development

Supporting Indigenous Airlines and Strengthening the Aviation Sector

Minister Keyamo’s efforts to enhance equipment access for indigenous airlines and address the concerns of leasing companies and aircraft manufacturers demonstrate the government’s commitment to supporting the growth and development of the aviation sector. By fostering a conducive environment for both domestic and international operators, the government aims to attract more investments, improve service delivery, and enhance the overall efficiency of Nigeria’s aviation industry.

Written by Boom RadioNG

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