From Idu Jude, Abuja

In continuation of the Federal government’s key intentions to revamp the economy, the Honourable Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, is currently leading a high-powered Nigerian delegation on a 4-day bilateral working visit to France to ensure such comes to fruition.

The S A to the Honourable Minister on media and communications, Tunde Moshood, said in a statement that the visit tagged the Nigeria-France Bilateral Business Forum, aims to strengthen cooperation and explore business opportunities in the aviation sector between both nations.

The statement further reads: “Festus Keyamo, who was accompanied by esteemed CEOs and directors from various Nigerian aviation agencies, including Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, MD of FAAN, Captain Chris Najomo, acting Director General of NCAA, and Engr. Faruk Umar of NAMA, the delegation embarked on a thorough aviation business exploration across key cities including Paris, Marseille, Toulouse, and Orly.

“The bilateral business meeting commenced today, Tuesday, March 5th, with Minister Keyamo meeting with the Director General of French Civil Aviation, Damien Caze, and his team. Minister Keyamo presented a compelling roadmap for the Nigerian aviation industry, emphasising the urgent need for infrastructure upgrades and inviting private investors to participate in this endeavour.

“During the session, stakeholders from the Nigerian delegation, including MDs of FAAN and NAMA, as well as the acting DG of NCAA, delivered insightful presentations on topics ranging from aircraft financing and insurance to the modernisation of navigational equipment and capacity-building initiatives.

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“The French aviation stakeholders, including PROAVIA, ASTech Paris Region, and BPI France, expressed keen interest in partnering with Nigeria, acknowledging the country’s vast potential in the aviation industry. Vice President of AerCap, Gad Wavomba, also pledged to explore business opportunities with Nigeria, citing the country’s attractiveness for investment.

“Other stakeholders who added their voices are the MD of SAHCO, Adenike Aboderin who spoke on the economic potentials of partnering with the Nigerian Cargo business while the Managing Director of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi also threw more light on aircraft leasing and the benefits of investing in the giant of Africa, a country of 240m people reputed to be Africa’s commercial nerves.

“The Nigerian delegation includes prominent figures from the aviation sector such as Emmanuel Fubara SAN, Chairman of Bristow Helicopters, George Urensi, MD of Ibom Air, and Capt. Ado Sanusi, Chairman of Aero Contractors, among others.

“Other prominent participants at the ongoing Nigeria France business forum are the COO of Airpeace, Oluwatoyin Olajide, Chairman, Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, MD, SAHCOL, Aboderin Adenike, MD, Kasi Heathcare Helicopters, Osholowu Gbolahan, Chairman, and CEO of SkyJet Aviation and Barbados Group, Shettima Kashim Bukar, Managing Director, XJet Aviation, Iza Emmanuel Abuya, Chairman, Azman Air, Abdulmunaf Yunusa Sarina, Managing Director, NG Eagle, Gaya Kabiru, Founder/CEO, Green Africa, Afolabi Babawande, Chairman NAHCO, Seinde Fadeni Folorunsho, among others.

“Following the meetings in Paris, the delegation will proceed to Marseille, visit the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, and conclude the business discussions in Orly with an audience with the management of Thales. Minister Keyamo expressed optimism about the outcomes of the visit, stating, ‘We are confident that this bilateral engagement will pave the way for fruitful collaborations and investment opportunities in Nigeria’s aviation industry.'”