Chinese companies express interest to invest in Nigeria’s aviation sector

Stella Oduah

China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) has expressed interests in investing in the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria, especially the Aerotropolis Project.

The Federal Ministry of Aviation announced the plan in a statement issued on Thursday by Joe Obi, the Special Assistant, Media, to Stella Oduah, the Minister of Aviation.

Aerotropolisis is a new urban form of placing airports in the centre with cities growing around them, connecting workers, suppliers, executives and goods to the aviation global world.

The statement said that the Overseas Operations Vice President of CSCEC, Yu Zhende, made the pledge in Beijing during a visit by the delegation from the Aviation Ministry.

Mr. Zhende said that the company promised to invest in the development of the sector in Nigeria, particularly the construction of Aerotropolis within the major international airports in the country.

He added that a delegation from CSCEC would visit Nigeria to study and deliberate more on the Aerotropolis development concept and expressed the company’s readiness to sign an agreement once the two countries conclude negotiations.

“It will take the support of both governments to actualise the project but we will move as fast as the Nigerian government wants us to move.

“We assure that financing the project will not pose any serious challenge for the Chinese Government once an agreement is reached.

“The company has vast and extensive experience in airport construction in China, Europe, Asia and Africa. The magnificent African Union building in Ethiopia was built by CSCEC and donated to the AU,” Mr. Zhende said.

The statement also said that Huawei Technologies Company, another Chinese firm, in conjunction with its IT solutions partner, SITA, presented a joint proposal to the aviation ministry delegation.

It said the proposal was made when the Nigerian delegation visited Huawei Headquarters in Shenzhen, where discussions and meetings were held with top management of the enterprise group.

The discussions centred on the fundamentals of the desired IT infrastructure of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria for the new terminals.

In addition, the delegation met and held discussions with airport design specialists, CSWADI, and the Beijing Institute of Architectural Design (BIAD) as well as the CASRI Company for airport baggage handling systems.

The statement said all the companies expressed strong desires to partner with the ministry in the development of the aviation industry in Nigeria.

A delegation from the Ministry of Aviation, led by Ms. Oduah, left Nigeria on August 4 for a two-week investment drive and road shows to China, the U.S., and Canada.

The investment road shows will be organised in selected cities across the three countries to attract foreign investors with a view to redressing the infrastructure gap in Nigeria’s aviation sector.

The initiative followed the International Conference on Aviation Safety in Africa held in Abuja in July.

Meanwhile, the Abuja road show is already generating interests from local investors, financial institutions and bankers, who are ready to commence the construction of projects after negotiations and due process certification.

The idea behind the road shows is premised on the need to urgently tackle and redress the huge infrastructure deficit in the sector by attracting foreign direct investment to develop facilities which will meet international standards.

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