Establish a National Carrier now, AfrieximBank admonished Nigerian Government

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The African Export-Import Bank, AfreximBank, has urged the Nigerian government on the immediate need to establish a National Carrier to boost economy and demonstrate its leadership position on the continent

AfrieximBank Global Head, Client Relations, Rene Awambeng, made the call at a Roadshow for Russian Aviation Products and Capabilities in Africa held in Abuja on Thursday.

Awembeng also advised the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for private sector participation in aviation business .This will reduce the cost of air travel in the country, he said.

“Why can we not develop our own national and regional airline companies and private sector airlines to bring down the cost of travels for our people? Why must Air France dominate all the routes to the francophone west Africa? Why can we not have an African champion in the air travel industry? These are some of the questions our Nigerian leaders and captains of industries should think and take responsibility.”

“This is a clarion call to our brothers and sisters in Nigerian to look about how we can work together to set up a strong national airline that will service domestic ,regional and international ones.”

“The AfreximBank is very committed to continue to provide support to the aviation industry on the continent and to enable our airlines to compete on the global stage.”

“There are numerous opportunities for entrepreneur, businessmen, across the entire value chain of aviation sector.
Opportunities for developing new roads, passengers, cargo, passenger and cargo, infrastructure air service and this opportunity have been recognised by IATA which predicts that many of the fastest growing market in terms of annual additional passengers will be in Africa .It expects that the market for aviation in Africa will double in each decade .

According to Awenbeng, “The ease and efficient movement of goods and people is a fundamental requirement to assist and increase the levels of intra-African trade.”

”As part of our strategic objective at the bank to promote trade, we see the aviation sector as one of the key sectors that would enhance both intra-African and extra-African trade and indeed encourage and promote the continent’s global exports. For a long time, business men and women on the continent could not trade to export their goods and services because they do not have infrastructure to move their goods and services away from the production centre,” he stated.

He wailed that most aircraft operating in Nigeria are as old as 17 years. This, he said is against global standards.

According to him an average live span of an aircraft in other countries is 13 years.

“The average aircraft fleet that runs in Africa is 17 years old which is the oldest in any region in the world. Globally, the average is around 12 to 13 years. Why must we always be the one at the tail end? Why can we not also run a new and sophisticated aircraft on the continent when we have the vast resources and the wealth? Why must we always be at the end of the league table?

“It is even more significant when you consider the fact that the modern aircraft is more efficient in fuel, more profitable to operate and ecologically beneficial to the environment. It is an opportunity and we are very lucky that our Russian partners have set several years of research and development to be able to develop superb aircraft such as the Sukhai superjet, C-21 and various types of Russian helicopters alike, he said.”

Managing Director for international development, Russian Export Center, Anna Belyaeva said “African Governments generally are aware of the need to develop their aviation infrastructure and we welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help domestic and international airlines meet challenges and opportunities that face them.”

“We are working together actively on joint project in a number of African countries focusing on air transportation and mining mining,” she said.

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