Diamond Aircraft Sets Eyes On Nigeria

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Aircraft manufacturer, Diamond Aircraft, has announced plans to extend its business to Africa with focus on Nigeria.

The company, which has over 6,000 aircraft flying worldwide, had wanted to pay a visit to Africa for business expansion but was prevented by the pandemic.

Chairman, Diamond aircraft, Bin Chen, disclosed this over the weekend when his team visited the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

He stated that the company has three main goals for the visit: to assess the African market; to meet with potential customers and business partners, and to find a local partner to produce their aircraft.

“We are excited to explore the potential of the African market and to meet with local partners who can help us establish a strong presence in Nigeria.”

“We believe that Nigeria has great growth potential and we are eager to be a part of that growth,” the spokesman said.

Chen also pointed out that Diamond Aircraft is currently searching for a local partner who could assist them acquire a license to produce their aircraft in Nigeria. The company is seeking a partner who shares their values and commitment to quality and safety.

“We are looking for a partner who can help us bring our aircraft to the Nigerian market and ensure that they meet the highest standards of excellence. We believe that there is a great opportunity here and we are eager to explore it.”

In her response, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika said that to boost the aviation industry in Nigeria, the country has put in place a new maintenance repair and overhaul facility through partnerships, adding that the MRO is one of many in the country, and is set to provide maintenance services for a wide range of aircraft.

In addition to that, the National College of Aviation Technology in Zaria had also established an MRO under the national hangar project, noting that with over 14,000 aircraft engineers and mechanics in the country, Nigeria is well-equipped to handle the maintenance needs of the aviation industry.

“You are in the centre of Africa and since you are producing for Africa, you cannot go to the coast to produce, so, Nigeria is your best location.

“We also have a very flexible civil aviation requirement. So, the government of Nigeria is welcoming you with open arms to come and set up.

“There is also a lot of charter business in Nigeria and a chartered aircraft is between $9000 to $12,000 per hour. So, there is a huge market in Nigeria. So, if you are in Africa and you are not in Nigeria, then you are not in Africa,” the minister added.

In her contribution, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed enumerated some of the advantages the firm would benefit from when they invest in Nigeria. She stated that the government had announced significant tax policies and incentives, adding that there is a double taxation agreement in place that protects businesses from being taxed twice on the same income.

She added that there is now a pioneers status available for three years, which is renewable, and offers a range of benefits, including import duty waivers and aircraft spares.

She further noted that the aircraft industry in Nigeria enjoys a VAT exemption, adding that there is also no customs duty levied on imported goods, stressing that these measures were designed to support businesses in the country and make it an attractive destination for foreign investors.

“On the fiscal side, we encourage new businesses that are coming to set up. We have significant tax policies you can benefit from, also we do have a double taxation agreement that protects you from being further taxed. In Nigeria, the aircraft industry also enjoys a VAT exemption. No custom duty when you import,” she added.

In his contribution, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, noted that Nigeria had reinforced its commitment to protecting the investments of both local and foreign investors, he explained that the nation’s constitution now includes provisions that guarantee the safety and security of investments made in the country.

He further added that this move is expected to boost Nigeria’s economy and attract more foreign investment further stating that investors are guaranteed that their investments would be protected from any adverse effects that might arise, and they could do business in Nigeria with confidence.

While the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo added that businesses looking to expand to Africa need not fear a lack of demand, as the African Continental Free Trade Area presents a huge opportunity.

The minister also said that Nigeria, with a huge population of about 250 million, is the largest individual market on the continent. He added that access to this market would also serve as good access to the wider African market which gives the investor a good advantage.

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