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Wednesday, 3 July, 2002, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Nigeria urges European airlines to pay up
Air Afrique check-in desk
Air Afrique went bankrupt in February 2002
Nigeria's minister for aviation has called on international airlines to contribute towards the modernisation of Africa's airports.

Doctor Kema Chikwe said that as foreign airlines operating in Africa took most of the funds generated by the continent's aviation market, the international community should help develop infrastructure to serve it.

She singled out in particular European airlines.

The minister was speaking at the annual Aviation & Allied Business Leadership Conference, in South Africa.

It is thought the developing notion of continent-wide economic co-operation could be useful in Africa's aviation sector.

Some countries have encouraged more private airlines to start flying between their nations, seeing such businesses as useful tools in building economic success.

Attracting funds

"If we had to realise the vision of the Nepad initiative then we must have proper transportation infrastructure," Doctor Chikwe told the BBC's World Business Report.

Doctor Chikwe said Nigeria needed to generate more funds to update its aviation infrastructure.

But it was not practicable to reduce airport charges to attract business.

She said the demise of Air Afrique - jointly owned by 11 African states - had rung alarm bells on the continent.

But the airline had suffered from having too many owners and this was not the sort of co-operation that was now being targeted.

Doctor Chikwe defended the Nigerian government's own record of funding its aviation sector, saying the sector had to compete with areas such as health, education, agriculture for cash.

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Nigeria's aviation minister, Doctor Kema Chikwe
"The infrastructure is not well developed"
See also:

13 Jun 02 | Business
31 May 02 | Business
08 May 02 | Business
02 May 02 | Business
29 Apr 02 | Business
07 Feb 02 | Africa
04 Jan 02 | Business
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