China-Nigeria: Chinese firms scramble to invest in Nigeria’s aviation sector

By Chinedu Eze*

Aviation sector – Recognising Nigeria as huge investment opportunity with unquantifiable returns on investment, Chinese investors are eagerly accepting the Federal Government’s call investment in the aviation and other sectors of the economy. Seeing such beckoning response the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah who was in China as part of the Aviation Ministry investment road show, has redefined the investment model for entrepreneurs and organisations wishing to do business in the aviation industry.

The minister told the Chinese Business Community that all projects contained in the investment baskets currently being marketed through the Investors’ Roadshow are to be executed under the Contractor-financed Business Model and not through concessioning or the Public Private Partnership (PPP) business model as obtained in the past.

The minister who made the position of government known during the Investors’ Forum in Beijing, China said the Ministry was looking for investors who are interested in investing in the Nigeria Aerotropolis Cities and the aviation sector in general who would partner with Nigerian indigenous investors in growing the aviation industry in the country.

She explained that government was “actually looking for is contractor-financed investors who can finance the projects while the government provides the enabling environment; we are looking for investors that can have Joint Ventures with our local, indigenous companies where together, they can contractor-finance the various projects”.

Meanwhile, China’s state-owned construction giant, China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd (CSCEC) has given its commitment and readiness to invest in the development of Nigeria’s aviation sector, especially the construction of Aerotropolis within the major international airports in Nigeria.

Overseas Operations Vice President of the Corporation, Yu Zhende who made the pledge at the headquarters of the corporation in Beijing, China during a visit by the delegation from the Aviation Ministry, said Nigeria is a major country in Africa hence the development of her aviation sector would establish the country as a major hub on the African continent.

Yu Zhende said a delegation from CSCEC would soon visit Nigeria to study and deliberate more on the concept of Aerotropolis development, and expressed the readiness of the company to sign an agreement and mobilise to site as soon as the Nigerian and Chinese governments arrived at a compromise.

“We will send a delegation to Nigeria to conceptualise this project, subsequently we will work with the Chinese government to finance this project”, Zhende stated, adding that it would take the support of both governments to actualize the project but “we will move as fast as the Nigerian government wants us to move”.

He assured that financing the project would not pose any serious challenge for the Chinese government once an agreement was reached.

*Source This Day

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