From more than 15 million passengers in 2014, Nigerian air passenger traffic declined to 6 million in 2016, Oscar Onyema, the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, has said.
Mr. Onyema made this disclosure Tuesday at the listing of Medview air on the Nigeria Stock exchange in Lagos.
He explained that the past decade has seen the Nigerian aviation industry experience numerous institutional challenges, leading to the exit of many air operators.
“Over the past decade, the Nigerian aviation industry has experienced significant challenges leading to the exit or decline of many operators,” he said.
Mr. Onyema also noted that the developments, coupled with the economic downturn, sadly, have affected operations in the aviation industry, leading to decline in the number of passenger traffic, both for inbound and outbound destinations.
“This has also impacted significantly on passenger traffic for inbound and outbound destinations having peaked at over 15 million in 2014, gradually declining to 11.3 million in 2015 and dropping to 6 million in 2016 as a result of the economic downturn.”
The NSE boss said that despite negative growth in passenger volumes, the decline in number of operators continues to put positive pressure on the successful industry players to seek sustainable funding options to support growth and meet passenger demand.
He however commended players in the industry, noting that despite the challenging operating environment in the aviation industry globally, the air transport industry continues to contribute about $10 billion to Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of African countries, while it is projected that close to six million jobs would be supported by Africa’s air transport sector over the next 20 years.
“Domestically, the aviation industry supports over 255,000 jobs and contributes more than US$1 billion (N304.25 billion) to GDP. Of this sum, 49 per cent is a direct output of the aviation sector via airports, airlines and ground services; while 51 per cent is contributed indirectly by the aviation supply chain. Notably, an additional US$464 million is derived from tourism,” he said.
While commending the efforts of industry players who are still in business despite the challenges, the NSE chief executive officer urged the Nigerian government to provide an enabling environment for the revival of the aviation industry through policies that would engender developments.
“We also call on the Honourable Minister of Aviation to work towards creating an enabling environment for the revival of the aviation industry in Nigeria,” he added.