Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation is appealing to aviation passengers to “be patient” with the industry and reckons that the persistent delayed flights would be soon resolved.
Minister Rotimi Amaech told CNBC Africa that investment is driven by the economy of a country and since it has done the necessary safety checks, it is open for investments.
“What we are doing first is to make sure we have safe air and that we appear to have achieved – we have done quite a lot in the area of security and we are open to investments,” says Amaech.
Fuel shortages in the country have caused an increase in delays and cancellations for internal flights.
“I’m told by my colleague in the ministry of petroleum that the federal government is doing quite a lot to see how we can produce aviation fuel in Nigeria, that problem will be solved very soon,” said Amaech.
He adds: “We need the understanding of Nigerians and we need them to be patient, once we resolve that, the regulator will come down on those who are not flying according to the requirement of time.”
Minister Amaech agrees that the long delays are unacceptable but it dosesn’t not know when it will have fuel or not.
“Usually they [ground staff] are told by the companies that they will get the fuel, they are in the queue to get fuel meanwhile they have collected money from those who have bought tickets – unfortunately it takes a long time for them to get that fuel.”
Amaech also explained how the low level of investment is responsible for the underdevelopment of Nigeria’s maritime transport.
“The challenge is low level investment, once we see people who are interested, capable hands that have the necessary resources; I’ll be planning to do business with them.”
The minister says he plans to engage with the Lagos government to implement an efficient means of water travel.
“We are doing quite a lot to commercialise the transportation sector,” said Minister Amaech.