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Keyamo engages French firm to upgrade radar systems in Nigeria’s airports

Keyamo engages French firm to upgrade radar systems in Nigeria’s airports
January 20
17:35 2024

Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, has engaged Thales, a French company, to upgrade the radar systems within Nigeria’s aviation sector.

According to a statement on Saturday by Tunde Moshood, the minister’s special adviser on media and communications, Keyamo had the discussion during the visit to Thales’ headquarters in Rouen-Ymare, France.

Thales specialises in provision of world-class technology for aerospace, space, ground transportation, defence and security.

Speaking at the meeting, Keyamo expressed his commitment to acquiring cutting-edge radar technology for the country’s airports.

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“I have taken my time to come all the way because I want the best equipment for my country,” the minister said.

“I want the Nigerian aviation sector to compete favorably in terms of the installation of the latest equipment. That’s why I am here to take a tour and see the latest radar equipment in town.”

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On his part, Lionel DE Castellane, vice-president of Thales in charge of the civil radars segment, said there is an urgent need for the radar system upgrade, particularly at major Nigerian airports, including Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Enugu, and Port-Harcourt.

Castellane underscored the necessity for modernisation and enhancements in radar technology, drawing attention to the ongoing TRACON (total radar coverage of Nigeria) project initiated 18 years ago.

He told the minister that phase 1 of the TRACON project, initially signed with the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in 2022, is 80 percent complete and scheduled for completion by May 2024. 

The vice-president disclosed that discussions on financing arrangements for the second and third phases are underway.

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“We’re only waiting for the Nigerian government to give us the nod to formalise the financing arrangements; even as we speak, the Commerzbank director here in France is a call away anytime; she’s ready to travel to Nigeria for the formalities,” Costallane said.

Castellane said Thales has secured a loan facility of €30.6 million from Commerzbank Group, a German financial institution, with the French guarantee agency providing backup support.

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