The first ever Nigerian Business Aviation Conference hosted by Evergreen Apple.

Friday 10th May 2013

The first ever Nigerian Business Aviation Conference hosted by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) on Tuesday the 7th ofMay proved to be a resounding success for the more than 100 attendees.

The conference provided a platform for raising awareness of the growingbusiness aviation industry in Nigeria and hosted by dynamic chair Alasdair Whyte provided attendees with a lively debate discussing a range of topics. Segun Demuren, MD/CEO of hosts EAN opened the meeting outlining the need for a better understanding of the value of business aviation in Nigeria as an economic driver for the country and surrounding regions, and its significance in developing international business.

The finance session was led by Segun Agbaje, suggested that a customers good character and integrity were as important as collateral and assets. He also noted that Nigeria had experienced

"high octane growth" in the last few years.  "We are more used to financing rice and fish so aviation is a good way for us to expand business," he commented. An OEM panel remained optimistic about the future growth of sales in the region giving at least an eight out of ten when asked where on the scale of sales growth they positioned Nigeria.

However the enthusiasm was tempered by the reality that in order to sellaircraft, service centre and maintenance were major considerations alongwith the need for support to train and identify local engineeringspecialists to support the expanding sector. The panelalso suggested that there was a strong market for smaller aircraft inthe region with over 50 small airfields available that can be used by the turbo prop and light jet community.

"Don't learn the hard way," said Achuzie Ezenagu, MD of Toucan Aviation alocal operator that serves the oil sector when talking about aircraftmanagement. The panel suggested that very few of the aircraft based in Nigeria are using aircraft management companies which can leave owners exposed to not extracting maximum value from their asset.

The issue of landing permits was covered by the Trip Planners panel which noted that currently permits can take between 48 - 72 hours to be granted but government authorities said plans are in place to implement automation sooner rather than later he continued.

"Undoubtedly Nigeria is a significant player in the business aviation sector for Africa and will play an important part in the development of the sector in the region. This conference has demonstrated that whilst we have a lot of opportunity we are still very much in our infancy and must aim to build the infrastructure to support business aviation and the associated framework necessary to create a solid base" concluded Demuren.

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