Former managing director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnamdi Udoh, noted that Africa with 1.3 billion potential customers makes the continent’ much more attractive to investment both from within and outside the continent’.
Udoh, who spoke ahead of the fourth edition of the National Tourism Transportation Summit at the International Conference Centre Abuja, said the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative is another giant step to boost trade and tourism in Africa.
According to him, Nigeria’s very rich tourism environment is enough to attract billions of US Dollars in foreign currency to the country in line with the AfCTA.
He said: “The African Union’s recent actions of putting into place an ACFTA and SAATM are giant steps towards recognising the over 1.3 billion inhabitants in the continent as one people, one market, one geographical space, and one nation, provided Africans see and reason into this together”.
Also speaking, an Air Transport specialist and former managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Richard Aisuebeogun said, with AfCFTA, it becomes easier for airlines to grow in Africa just like what is obtained in the entire continent of Europe.
“There is virtually no part of Europe that you cannot fly into from one particular spot because you have airlines crisscrossing the entire continent of Europe. We know that is not the case in Africa go deep into that.
“We have talked about it for over 30 years. The challenge of flying across Africa is a major challenge. If we find it as a major challenge to fly across Africa or within Africa via intra-Africa transport system, then, you can imagine how it is going to limit the economic development of the region,” he pointed out.
“We need to have citizens travel cards that enable us to go to South Africa, Banjul, Nairobi, Cairo without any limitations for legitimate reasons to do business that will engender economic growth of Africa and its citizens, creates wealth, reduces poverty and unemployment and that is what Africa Continental Free Trade would do,” he pointed out.