Festus Keyamo visit to the headquarters of AIRBUS aircraft in the southwest region of Occitanie.

Festus Keyamo: The Perils of Aircraft Leasing in Nigeria Despite Government Assurances

by | Mar 12, 2024 | 0 comments

Minister of Aviation Festus Keyamo’s Visit to Airbus Headquarters in Perspective

The recent visit of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace of Nigeria Festus Keyamo to the headquarters of AIRBUS aircraft in the southwest region of Occitanie, near the Toulouse-Blagnac Airport, marked a significant step in the government’s efforts to bolster the country’s aviation sector. During this visit, the minister and his team engaged with top aircraft leasing companies closely affiliated with AIRBUS. Despite these efforts, challenges persist in the sector, particularly concerning the safety of leased aircraft and the trust deficit between leasing companies and Nigerian businessmen. This article seeks to unpack the complexities of aircraft leasing in Nigeria, shedding light on the underlying issues hindering progress and examining the skepticism surrounding government assurances, especially in light of recent events. Sindy Foster

Festus Keyamo and The Market Conundrum

One of the fundamental challenges facing aircraft leasing in Nigeria is the absence of a robust market and its subsequent profitability. The demand for leased aircraft is relatively low compared to more established aviation markets, making it less attractive to leasing companies. The lack of a substantial customer base, coupled with economic uncertainties, results in a limited incentive for companies to invest in the Nigerian aviation sector.

Government’s Attempt to Bridge the Gap

Recognizing the need to boost confidence in the aviation industry, the Nigerian government has taken steps to address the trust deficit between leasing companies and airlines. The Ministry of Aviation, under the leadership of the minister, has proposed a novel solution – offering government cover as insurance for leased aircraft. This initiative aims to mitigate risks for both lessors and lessees, fostering an environment conducive to increased aircraft leasing activity in Nigeria.

Festus Keyamo and Credibility Concerns

However, the success of such government assurances hinges on the credibility and trustworthiness of the authorities. Recent events, such as the arrest of Binance executives and subsequent charges, have raised questions about the government’s reliability. Investors, particularly those in the aviation sector, are wary of placing their trust in a government whose credibility remains questionable.

Investor Skepticism

The distrust emanates not only from the absence of a proven track record in the aviation sector but also from broader concerns regarding the stability of the Nigerian political and economic landscape. Investors, both domestic and foreign, are understandably cautious about committing significant resources to a market where uncertainty and abrupt policy changes persist.

The Way Forward

To address the challenges facing aircraft leasing in Nigeria, a multifaceted approach is necessary. The government must prioritize efforts to create a more conducive business environment, including economic, and legal reforms, regulatory clarity, and an independent judiciary that is free of government interference and corruption. Transparent and consistent policies will go a long way in attracting investment and fostering trust among potential lessors.

Moreover, the government must actively work on rebuilding its credibility by demonstrating a commitment to fair and predictable business practices. This involves addressing concerns related to recent legal actions against prominent business figures, fostering a more transparent and accountable governance framework.


While the Nigerian government’s efforts to boost aircraft leasing are commendable, a gap analysis by our team of researchers at Cliqjets Consulting reveals that the road ahead is fraught with challenges. Overcoming the trust deficit requires not only well-intentioned policies but also concrete actions to build a reliable and transparent business environment. Investors will remain cautious until the government addresses these concerns, ensuring that promises of safety and support are backed by a track record of stability and credibility.

About the Author

Shadrach Swante Kambai

Flight Operations Consultant, Aviation Data Analyst, Business Developer (shadrach@cliqjets.com)

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