Nigeria kickstarts implementation of SAATM to improve Intra-African trade, air travel, others – The Sun Nigeria

Nigeria kickstarts implementation of SAATM to improve Intra-African trade, air travel, others – The Sun Nigeria


From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja

The federal government on Tuesday, hosted the first Single African Air Transport Market, Pilot Implementation Project (SAATM –PIP) Cluster 1 Coalition Roadshow to proceed with the accelerated implementation of SAATM.

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, an initiative of the African Union to create a single unified air transport market in Africa to advance the liberalization of civil aviation in Africa and act as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration agenda.

Speaking at the workshop in Abuja to commence the project, the Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu said SAATM will ensure aviation plays a major role in connecting Africa, promoting its social, economic and political integration and boosting intra-Africa trade and tourism in accordance with the African Union Agenda.

He said “the presentation of the SAATM-PIP Roadmap by the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) is quite commendable and borne out of the desire to address challenges of air travel in the Region as well as eliminating to the barest minimum, any impediments, to the full and sustainable implementation of SAATM.

“As most of you are aware, air connectivity is an asset, which improves the global competitiveness of cities, States and regions. Increased Air Connectivity brings concrete value by making trips shorter with optimal user satisfaction at minimum prices.

“It is believed that SAATM will enhance intra-African connections and make movement of passengers and cargo smooth with minimum transit points at competitive prices. Achieving these require our collective resolve not only to implement SAATM, but also to make conscious efforts to address the issues of non-physical barriers including the high cost of travel within the region.

“I would like to remind us this morning that the desired objectives of SAATM include the need to support Africa’s social, economic, and political integration as well as boost intra-African trade and tourism in accordance with the African Union Agenda 2063.

Nuhu expressed certainty that the outcome of the Roadshow, which was attended by aviation professionals, industry partners, private sector players and other stakeholders, would bring a new dawn to the growth and development of air transport in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Also speaking, the Secretary General of AFCAC Ms. Adefunke Adeyemi said full implementation of SAATM could increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution of Nigeria’s aviation industry from 3.3 percent to 5.1 percent.

“According to a study on SAATM by Embraer (2020), in 2038, using traffic forecasts and economic impact estimates from ICAO, aviation could generate 800,000 jobs of which 60,000 would be directly associated with airline operations. The industry would contribute some US$1.3 billion to GDP. That number would rise to US$7.2 billion when factoring the induced and indirect catalytic effects of tourism.

“Why we are here today therefore, is to engage with our Nigerian stakeholders to see how we can intensify efforts to implement practical strategies and concrete actions to address the challenges preventing the achievement of the projected growth, share ideas to boost the development of air links to and from Nigeria, promote tourism, trade and investment development especially through improvements in the regulatory framework, infrastructure investment as well as operational incentives for airlines in order to create a competitive environment for aviation business to thrive.” She explained.

Adeyemi urged all Nigerian eligible airlines to take advantage of SAATM and expand operations across Africa.

“We should also invest in infrastructure to ensure safe, secure, efficient, sustainable and competitive operational environments that promote easy connectivity, business growth and job creation across the African continent. Once more, I thank you all for your kind attention and count on our constructive and fruitful deliberations during this roadshow.” She added.

In his opening remarks, the Minister of Aviation , Hadi Sirika, reiterated Government’s commitment to continually support any policies and programmes that would assist and project the full implementation of SAATM in the nation and thanked the AFCAC DG for choosing Nigeria as the first country in Africa to host the roadshow.

“As we all aware that the air transport market in sub-Saharan Africa presents a strong dichotomy. In southern and eastern Africa the market is growing, with few major African carriers dominating international and domestic markets which are becoming increasingly concentrated. In contrast, in central and western Africa the sector is stagnating, with the vacuum created by the collapse of mostly state owned airlines and a few privately owned airlines in the region. Nigeria is working towards launching its own National Carrier that would help in actualizing the policies and principles of SAATM in Nigeria and Africa at large.

“I encourage you all to take full advantage of this unique opportunity this meeting presents to share your experiences and perspectives in addressing some of the challenges of air travel in the Region as well as eliminating to the barest minimum, impediments, to the full and sustainable implementation of SAATM in Nigeria.” He advised.



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