Dapo Okubadejo, Honourable Commissioner for Finance & Chief Economic Adviser, Ogun state

Sterling Bank, one of Nigeria’s most innovative financial institutions is reinforcing its emerging position as the biggest supporter of transport and travel business in Nigeria. Sterling is partnering with the first aviation and cargo conference to help grow export and cargo business through the airports.

Nigeria imports tonnes of cargo by air everyday but exports very little by air. Freighters arrive Nigerian airports everyday fully laden but leave empty. To address this problem the Chinet AviaCargo Conference is bringing together top players in aviation, logistics, export and support businesses to a 2 day Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.

Sterling Bank has been consistent in engaging entrepreneurs and startups in the trade and travel sectors of the economy. The Aviacargo Conference provides another opportunity to further engage with stakeholders. This is according to Abubakar Suleiman, Managing Director of Sterling Bank “Aviation is a key part of the transportation sector in Nigeria. And as the T in our HEART strategy, our commitment to growing the Transportation sector, as with health, education, agriculture and renewable energy in Nigeria remains total as we believe in the importance of these towards Nigeria’s economic rebirth and prosperity.”

The Regulatory Agencies including The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), The Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA), The Nigerian Export Promotions Council (NEPC) will be joined by the Standard Organisations of Nigeria (SON), the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) in the 2 day stakeholder engagement. Coming up on the 25th and 26th of August 2021 the Chinet Expo is expected to raise a checklist of actionable plans that will enable government, exporters and cargo handlers improve on the existing situation.

The Ogun Cargo Airport will showcase its capabilities at Chinet Expo. The Commissioner of Finance and the Chief Economic Adviser Ogun State, Dapo Okubadejo will engage aviation and cargo experts on the advanced plan and implementation of the Ogun Cargo Airport Project. A leading exporter Capt. John Okakpu who is the Head of the Agro Set up Committee will be sharing his experience. The 30 Man Committee set up by the Federal Ministry of Trade is expected to take goods from the farm to the table. The Export Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) will be well represented at the event. Insurance heavyweights including the National Insurance Commisioner have teamed up to engage with aviation and logistics stakeholders at the upcoming aviation and cargo conference CHINET 21 in Lagos.

The insurance session will be led by the lead speaker on the role of Insurance in Aviation Business, Chief Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja, Chairman Boff & Company Insurance Brokers Ltd. There has been growing complaints among aviation stakeholders that insurance companies in Nigeria lack the capacity to handle aviation business in Nigeria. These complaints include that of the high premiums paid by Nigerian Airlines to foreign insurance companies which keeps rising every year because of presumed country risk issues. Airlines claim that the high cost of insurance is passed onto the passengers and the Nigerian economy is also not benefiting from the prevailing system.

Chief Olatunde-Agbeja brings his over 40 Years experience at the highest level of insurance brokerage to the conference. He will be supported by leading insurance companies and their chief executives. The session on insurance will include question and answers to effectively engage the players in the entire value chain of aviation. The conference will have the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation Senator Smart Adeyemi and his House of Reps Committee counterpart Honorable Nnolim Nnaji as Special Guests of Honour.

With the involvement of more stakeholders who are signing up for the aviation, cargo and export conference in Nigeria the organisers say only registered delegates will be allowed into the venue. Because of the Covid19 protocols in Lagos State all delegates must register and receive their tags before the 10th of August. This is as the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC) the apex body in charge of promoting export in Nigeria and the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) will be making presentations on how exporters can be assisted to do more through aviation. The gazetting of 4 airports as export processing zones bring to fore the importance of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to the growth of Aviacargo in Nigeria. NEPZA will be at CHINET to showcase the opportunities available to investors at the airports. NEPC and NEPZA will be joining the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Ethiopian Airlines as major partners of the first Aviacargo event in Nigeria. The two leading Aviation Cargo and Logistics companies in Nigeria NAHCO and SAHCO will be major players at this event along with many airlines, logistics and global financial service companies.

According to the organisers, the event, the first of it’s kind is coming up on the 25th and 26th of August 2021 in Lagos. Since 1935, aviation has been growing in Nigeria. With so many airlines and airports it is expected that aviation should and would contribute more to the nation’s economy. The conveners of this event ATQNews a global Pan African Travel News Organisation says that the conference is long overdue. It says in its introductory message that “Nigeria, a country with over 200 million resourceful people depends a lot on imports which has been eroding the national wealth. A lot of airlines bring freighters fully laden daily to Nigeria and most of them fly out empty. There is therefore a need to reverse this dysfunctional scenario. Nigeria needs to export more and aviation should be the key to increasing exports. To this end ATQNews seeks to convene an annual conference that brings all potential exporters, cargo managers, logistics firms, airlines, airports, Customs and everyone in the Aviation and Cargo ecosystem to chart a pathway that enables Nigerians to export more. As the importance of oil wanes, the value and volume of non-oil export should be growing and aviation should be driving it.”

The Conference which will have an Exhibition part will be broken into 3 Parts over 2 days, Aviation, Cargo and Exports. The Aviation aspect will have a Presentation and Panel Discussion on ‘Airlines, Airports and Aviation’ Experts including Airline CEOs,Past Airport CEOs and Aviators will discuss the reasons why our Airlines and Airport Systems have not delivered the best possible outcomes for aviation in Nigeria. The second section on cargo will be a presentation and panel discussions on the Cargo and Logistics Value Chain the Challenges of Scale and the Opportunities available.

The third Part will be on Export. How do we scale our Export Capacity? How do we  remove the impediments and improve our access and market Penetration Globally.
There will be a support session on Insurance and Financing of Aviation, Cargo and Export in Nigeria. At the end of the 2 day event “we will be leaving the event with enough knowledge about the current aviation situation in Nigeria and its role in growing the Economy  by Driving Bigger Cargo Export from Nigeria. With this understanding of the Cargo and Export Systems we can integrate our systems by networking and learning from each other as problems shared eventually become problems solved” according Mr. Ikechi Uko Publisher ATQNews, organisers of the event.

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