The federal ministry of Aviation has outlined the benefits of designating four major international Airports as special economic zones
In a statement signed by James Odaudu, director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, the minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika stated that designating four major international Airports as special economic zones is to address issues concerning taxation, custom duties and fiscal issues in the Nigerian Aviation industry.
Sirika explained that the request to the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority, NEPZA for the designation under NEPZA Act require a holistic solution.
It would be recalled that recently, the minister announced the designation of four international Airports, the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Port-Harcourt international Airport, and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airports as special economic zones.
The announcement followed the approval granted by President Muhammadu Buhari to that effect.
Sirika noted that the request was made so that the benefits of such zones can be accorded all airlines, airport operators, Aviation support companies and others that reside within the zones which the President noted, and approved.
He outlined some of the benefits to include; Harnessing the socio-economic benefits derivable from Civil Aviation, generating revenues for Government and creating avenues to mobilize local and foreign direct investment for overall growth of the economy.
He said the designation is also expected to attract more international and domestic Airlines and world class organisations into the Nigerian Aviation Industry thereby fast tracking the upgrade and development of new infrastructure/facilities at the airports.
Sirika stated further that: “The Special Economic Zones would also help to reduce the tax burden on Aviation Companies to enable them compete internationally and create around the airports a more efficient and business-friendly trade environment comparable to other countries, with less bureaucratic red tape because of the associated fiscal incentives and packages.
“The operation of the airports as special economic zones would also help to generate employment opportunities and human capital development, improve the overall ease of doing business in Nigeria which is in line with Federal Government’s commitments towards national economic development.
Another benefit is the generation of additional non-aeronautical sources of revenue for the Aviation Industry”.
The minister pointed out that as promised at the inception of the Buhari administration, the government remains committed to the development of an investment-friendly Aviation sector that will not only make Nigeria a regional hub for air transportation, but increase its contribution to the national gross domestic product (GDP).
Sirika appealed for the cooperation of all relevant stakeholders in the new development in order to achieve the desired goals.