Evergreen Apple Nigeria is ready to support growing volumes of business aviation traffic heading to West Africa and wants EBACE visitors to know that it can provide a secure and capable port of entry for Nigeria’s capital, Lagos. Having established what it claims is Nigeria’s first purpose-built FBO–the EAN Jet Centre at Lagos’s Murtala Muhammed International Airport– last July and seeing a large increase in traffic, EAN is planning to establish new FBOs during the next year in Abuja, the capital, and at Port Harcourt, which is known as the gateway to the country’s oilfields.
The number of business travelers heading for Nigeria is growing fast as commodities play an increasingly important role in the world economy, so remote but resource-rich areas in Africa, such as Nigeria, are becoming prime destinations.
“Lagos is usually the first Nigerian city that new business ventures target, and we could see there was a lack of facilities that international travelers expect,” said Segun Demuren, EAN’s managing director and CEO. “Creating an integrated FBO and maintenance center was essential to support this expanding sector,” he added. The $25 million EAN Jet Centre features two VIP lounges, a crew room with WiFi access, short-stay accommodation and a penthouse restaurant atop the facility.
Demuren noted that most aircraft owned and operated in Nigeria are foreign registered, and EAN has partnered with Maintenance Centre Malta (MCM Group) to provide line maintenance for European-registered aircraft at the FBO, and also to provide maintenance for Nigerian-registered aircraft when they are operating in Europe.
Evergreen (Stand 1927) recognizes that, besides its resources, Nigeria has a reputation for having payoff-hungry officials. The company is eager to counter that perception, however. “We try to make people feel at ease. They don’t have to worry about paying off people,” said Demuren. “We don’t collect cash; we don’t collect payments. After you leave the country, we’ll send you a bill. Every single item on our services has a price, so you’re not going to get any surprises.”
Here at EBACE, Demuren is eager to meet with operators seeking an entrée to Nigeria, and FBOs and handlers that can assist EAN’s Nigerian-based clients when they take their jets abroad.