Between January and September this year, output in the aviation sector rose to N146.6 billion from N114.2 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2020. The recovery in the aviation sector in the first nine months of 2021 is as a result of the relaxation of travel restrictions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and increased economic activities during the year.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, aviation or air transport is one of the sub-sectors under the transport and storage sector. Road transport, rail transport, water transport, transport services and post and courier services are the remaining five.
During the review period, the contribution of the transport and storage sector to the GDP stood at N2.4tn which was driven by the economic performance of road transportation (N2.2tn), air transport (N146.6bn) and transport services (N62.4bn).
In Q1, the aviation sector’s output rose to N53.8bn from N51.3bn recorded in Q1 2020 and in Q2, the sector’s contribution to the GDP stood at N26.5bn, higher than the N21.3bn recorded in the corresponding period of the previous year.
The transport and storage sector grew by 41.61 per cent, year on year, in nominal terms in Q3.
This rate was relatively higher than the figure of -35.06 per cent recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020 but lower than the 112.56 per cent in the previous quarter.
However, all the six sub-activities under transport and storage industry recorded positive growth rates in the third quarter 2021.
In Q3, transport activities contributed 1.57 per cent to nominal GDP in, an increase from the 1.28 per cent recorded in the corresponding period of 2020, but lower than 2.09 per cent recorded in Q2.
In real terms, the sector grew by 20.61 per cent in Q3 2021, which represents an increase of 63.59 per cent relative to the same quarter of the previous year and a decrease of 56.20 per cent relative to the preceding quarter.
The contribution of the sector to real GDP in the Q3 2021 totalled 0.20 per cent, a rise from 0.18 per cent recorded in the previous year, and higher than the 0.13 per cent recorded in the Q2.
The contribution of air transport to the GDP in Q3 surged to N66.3bn from N41.8bn recorded in Q3 2020.
Speaking on the development, an economist and a professor of Economics at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Sheriffdeen Tella, attributed the recovery in the sector to the removal of travel restrictions that hindered air travel in the previous year.
He said, “Thanks to the lifting of travel bans, people have been able to move around more this year, as governments around the world roll out vaccinations for the COVID19 virus.”
“The increase in output can also be linked to the worldwide improvement in production, because now, unlike last year when COVID19 was ravaging the world, there is demand for some of the products we export including oil, so the increase in economic activities spurred increased production and export which drove improved output in the sector.”
He stated that while the growth in the sector was encouraging, it was less than desired, stressing the need for the government to implement policies and create an environment that would drive meaningful growth that could contribute significantly to the country’s GDP.