The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, says the agency may explore the option of obtaining bank loans to upgrade infrastructure at airports across the country.
Akinkuotu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the just-concluded International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF) in Abuja, that this would, however, be subject to the approval of the Federal Government.
He noted that the theme of this year’s IWAF, “Financing Aviation Infrastructure’’, was very apt because aviation was one of the most capital intensive businesses.
According to him, the forum, which was hosted for the first time outside the ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada provided opportunities for Nigeria and African countries to attract investors to the continent.
Akinkuotu said: “It was a good opportunity for us to listen, to hear and for the financial institutions to also be able to understand the industry and see our challenges.
“I had the opportunity to interact on behalf of NAMA with some aid agencies and as a matter of fact, I was able to meet with a bank who asked us for our challenges.
“It might require that we do a mind shift.
“So far, an agency like NAMA has been funded by itself and government.
“Now we might look at how to change our models in trying to attract, if possible, and allowed by government, to source funding and then be able to pay back. So that will change the model.’’
He added that NAMA, under his administration, was committed to developing Air Traffic Navigation Systems and Air Traffic Management Systems, at the airports.
“NAMA is a service provider. We need to modernise our equipment. We also need to replace ageing equipments,’’ Akinkuotu said.