Receives Certificates of Compliance from ICRC to establish ALC, MRO Facility.
By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
Abuja-In a bid to boost aviation business in Nigeria, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has disclosed that the establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility and Aviation Leasing Company (ALC), is critical to the development of Nigeria’s aviation sector.
The Minister who made the disclosure on Monday in Abuja, at the presentation of the Outline Business Case (OBC) Certificates for the Aviation Leasing Company (ALC) and the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), stressed the need for Nigeria to have its own MRO as maintenance base.
According to him, “You cannot have a national carrier where maintenance would be done overseas, you will lose a lot of time and resources and you will also be denying people the job opportunities.
“That is why we decided that there is need to have our own MRO in the country to serve as a maintenance base for the proposed national airline and other existing airlines”.
Sirika while noting that the two projects are critical, expressed dismay over the level of funding, saying that funding has remained a huge challenge to the operators in the industry.
“Most of the aviation businesses in the country have no access to leasing company and appropriate source of funding has continued to be a huge challenge in aviation sector.
“It is impossible to succeed in airline business in Nigeria where profit margin is less than five per cent and interest on bank loan is around 24 per cent” he quipped.
Speaking further on the implementation of the Aviation Industry Roadmap, the Minister said, with the existing airline companies, catering companies and other aviation businesses in the country, the leasing company and the MRO would be a huge boost to the industry.
While disclosing that the OBC for airport concession and national airline are ready and would soon go to ICRC to ensure compliance before proceeding to procurement, Sirika stated that the issuance of OBC certificate by ICRC was a testimony of the government’s commitment to transparency.
Earlier, the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Chidi Izuwah said, that with safety as the major consideration in the Aviation industry, MRO is the most important link in the aviation value chain.
In his words, “The lack of an MRO has had a negative impact on the survival of airlines in the country as airlines have struggled to maintain their fleet or stay in business for consistently long periods as seen in other climes.
“Our review of the OBC presented a compelling case for the establishment of an MRO in Nigeria as the demand forecast study undertaken presented an assurance of a market that remains unserved locally.
“This is because, more than half of the $3 billion annual expenditure by African airlines on maintenance is taken outside the continent,” he explained.
Izuwah who commended the ministry for its insistence on due process and adherence to the guidelines and processes of the ICRC, said, that despite the obvious market for aircraft leases, the West Africa region had no single Aviation Leasing Company and relies solely on leasing companies in Europe, North America and Asia.
The OBC Certificates of compliance for the establishment of an MRO facility on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Basis, under a Public Private Partnership arrangement and the establishment of an ALC on a Joint Venture (JV) Basis under a PPP arrangement, are both valid for 12 months from May 21,2018.