Thursday, January 3, 2013

■ NIGERIA: Government to forge ahead with plans to buy 30 aircraft for use by local operators.

NigeriaThe Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has announced a Nigerian government initiative to buy 30 aircraft as part of its plans to improve viability and safety in the local industry. Funding is to come via the USD1billion (NGN300billion) Aviation Intervention Fund set up by government and disbursed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in conjunction with Bank of Industry (BOI).

Corporate Communications General Manager of FAAN, Mr Yakubu Dati, said that the new development entailed buying and distributing aircraft to domestic airline operators, unlike the old practice of giving out aviation intervention funds, which was, in some cases, misused.

Ultimately, Mr Dati noted, the aim of bringing in the new aircraft was to provide cost effective travel to Nigerians in general:
"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," he said.
Source [Leadership]

São José dos Campos, Embraer HQ
Embraer HQ, Brazil (Embraer)
In December 2012, Joe Obi, the special adviser on media to the Nigerian Aviation Minister, said government was not happy with the way the last intervention fund had been used, and wanted to ensure more prudence this time, and involve the manufacturers directly. Before accessing the aircraft, however, airlines would first have to satisfy various safety criteria:
The ministry is not happy with the way the first intervention fund was disbursed and used. This time, the intervention fund which we have proposed, and are now waiting for approval from the Presidency for,  is to the effect that when approved, the money will not be given to the airlines directly. They will not have access to it. Rather, the money will be given to aircraft manufacturers who will then deliver the brand new aircraft to Nigeria, where Nigerian airlines will have access to them.

They will be given some criteria before they can access them, and we are working on those criteria. You know there has been a dearth of aircraft in the sector. This is the way we want to assist them this time around”, Obi said.

No specific types of aircraft have been mentioned though the Nigerian Government did announce in November 2012 that Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embrarer, had provisionally agreed to collaborate with the Nigerian Government's efforts to assist domestic Nigerian airlines in acquiring new aircraft "at concessionary rates."