Divers opinions all streamlined and geared towards moving the aviation industry forward was the order of business, as industry professionals and stakeholders brainstormed to set the industry in Nigeria towards the path of fulfilling its potential.
In a one day Colloquium entitled Leapfrogging Nigeria Aviation to match her Potential, various topics discussed exposed some teething problems militating against the growth of the Nigerian Aviation Industry and some of the solutions that could solve these.
Chief Executive Officer, Ropeways Transport, Captain Dapo Olumide has said that the only way to move the Nigerian aviation industry forward is by providing infrastructure
Responding to a comment, Captain Dapo Olumide (middle) flanked on either side by left Managing Diretor, Accountable Manager of Atlantic Aviation Limited, Shaf Syed and right by Publisher /CEO Nigeriatravelmart.com, Simon Tumba
This is just as he said that the country should avoid extolling ordinariness in its bid to find solutions to the teething problems of the air transport sector.
Captain Olumide in his presentation: The last 50 years of Aviation established that the country has remained stagnant and learnt nothing in the pursuit for a better aviation industry and has learnt nothing over the years as it still faces the same problems it faced in the many years of aviation.
While responding to questions after the session, he explained that the country got it all wrong from 1983
“The reason I gave the presentation on this is that you cannot determine the future if you do not know where you are coming from. Kano Airport when it was built in 1936 was built to accommodate 100 or so passengers but even at that time the capacity was not enough because the aircraft then could carry 107 passengers, Now 60 years down the line the airport is still the same capacity.”
“ The Avio bridge at the MMA stopped functioning in 1985 and no one seems to be embarrassed about it, We have set mediocrity as the new benchmark for excellence and we have adjusted our minds to a new low,’ he explained.
An Aviation Finance consultant and Managing Director of Katari System Nigeria Limited, Ali Mohammed Magashi, who presented a paper: ”Financing Nigerian Aviation: The Option For Growth” identified very high interest rate charged by airlines by commercial banks in the country as one of the several funding obstacles militating against the growth of the industry.
He also listed other funding obstacles to the industry growth to include poor credit rating, over regulated financial system, which according to him impedes on simple and genuine foreign currency transaction, over regulation and expensive procedures by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which he said impede on start-up airlines.
He stated that for the Nigerian aviation industry to grow the Federal Government must provide conducive climate for investors to invest.
He also alleged that the exploitation by NCAA using multiple inspections of aircraft, training facilities and maintenance facilities equally impede aviation growth.
On financing model for Nigerian aviation , Magashi stated that there should be targeted and effective subsidy from the Federal Government ,intervention guarantee funds with very low interest rate with longer tenure, reduction of multiple taxation that impedes airlines revenue ,create easier access to foreign exchange from the Apex bank ;Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN)
Other solutions proffered as funding models for the country are: reduced Customs and Excise tariffs for local airlines, reduction of landing ,parking ,navigational charges for local airlines , lighting up airports and keeping maintaining them, as only very few airports operates 24 hours ,while other operates only visual flights.
The event was put together by the Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, Nigeria travelsmart.com, Mr Simon Tumba.
Nigerianflightdeck is an online news and magazine platform reporting business stories with a bias for aviation and travel. It is borne out of the intention to inform, educate as well as alter perceptions with balanced reportage.
“To me, as I said on the Flightdeck Forum, the option remains Arik, Arik, Arik or look for a domestic carrier or any other carrier within to partner to start it. When you partner with another airline to start it then you are having three government carriers in place. I feel it’s a good thing, I am happy AMCON has changed their tone we are yet to hear from the Federal Government although we only saw that money was budgeted but we are not sure what route they would take. And if you look at the amount budgeted, that amount cannot do anything to start a national carrier from the scratch. As at today we have not seen a clear cut investor that is ready to partner with FG, I think the best way to go is to look at the Arik, Aero option and move with it.”
Despite the challenges at the border, I will like to thank Mr. President for approving, in council, the e-border program. The program will be implemented in 2 years where the 4,047 kilometres of land borders be monitored real-time.
It will cover 86 Border Control Post (BCP) comprising of 6Mega Control Posts, 16Medium Control Posts and 64 Mini Control Posts.