By Sade Williams
A group, International Aviation Group (IAG), is to establish a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Abuja.
This is just as Hadi Sirika, Minister of State, Aviation, assured investors in the sector of the best returns on their investments, saying that Nigeria remains the only country where the rate of return is close to 50 percent, the best in Africa.
Sirika gave the assurance when the Chief executive officer of Crestfields support services, Osahemi Idahosa, in company of the chairman of International Aviation Group (IAG), Stuart Harrison and his team, paid him a visit in Abuja.
According to James Odaudu, deputy director, press and public affairs, Ministry of Aviation, the group disclosed that their plan was borne out of the fact that there is huge traffic into and out of the country; the need to reduce cost maintaining aircraft abroad and attract neighboring countries.
The group, which also indicated intention to start an aviation academy in the country, said it was renowned for global aviation projects management, aircraft and helicopter sales/leases and manpower development.
Harrison, while commending the Nigeria for having a clear-cut vision for the sector, he added that the cademy will be affiliated to a United Kingdom based university which will regulate its programmes and give it technical support, explaining that the projects would be executed with Crestfields support services.
While expressing delight at the plan by IAG, Sirika said such lofty investment plan was not only desirable but profitable.
According to him, the establishment of an MRO will not only reduce cost of aircraft maintenance but will facilitate the transformation of Nigeria into a regional hub while the proposed academy will reduce the burden on Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in Zaria.
Sirika also informed them of government’s plan to establish aviation University in Abuja with technical support from the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
This he said, is without prejudice to the ongoing expansion of facilities at NCAT, saying interested organisations are invited to partner government in this regard.
He further advised the group to visit NCAT in order to familiarise themselves with programmes and facilities of the college with a view to doing something different and fresh at the proposed academy.