Global insight

13 things you don’t know about Nigeria’s air transport fiasco

13 things you don’t know about Nigeria’s air transport fiasco

1) Nigeria’s airports – in particular Port Harcourt, ranked as the worst airport in the world by  – continue to attract widespread ridicule


2) Nigeria’s 22 airports are currently undergoing remodelling with funding from the government and a US$500m loan from China’s Nexim Bank – although critics argue the amount of work undertaken thus far is not commensurate with the funding procured for the project


3) International speculation over whether Nigeria will ever have a profitable national airline continues, 12 years after the collapse of Nigeria Airways – consumed, in part, by the cancer of corruption


4) Remarkably, Hajiya Binta Bello, the outgoing permanent secretary of Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation, claims Nigeria’s aviation sector has attained ‘commendable and laudable feats worth celebrating’


5) The International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) Universal Security Audit Programme, has rated the Nigerian aviation industry ‘at 96 per cent’ secure, according to Bello


6) The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) says the (main) hurdle Nigeria’s aviation sector faces is not lack of finance – but its liberalised airspace allowing foreign carriers to operate ‘at will’


7) Fuel surcharges and the routinely ‘premature’ collection of VAT payments are among a number of other issues hindering progress in the sector, asserts the AON


8) Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation plans to spearhead a campaign on the UN’s Anti-Corruption Day on 9th December aimed at combating what it describes as ‘low level corruption’ at the country’s much-maligned airports


9) Overall, Nigeria’s aviation industry is millions of US dollars in debt


10) Nigeria’s GDP was $568.5bn in 2014 – but statisticians estimate that figure dropped to $492.99bn this year (source: Statista and IMF)


11) Nigeria has the 20th largest economy in the world


12) With a population of about 173 million people, Nigeria is the largest country in Africa and accounts for 47 per cent of West Africa’s population


13) Nigeria is the biggest oil exporter in Africa, with the largest natural gas reserves on the continent

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