Industry players and professionals have reacted to certain issues that have cropped up in the aviation sector from the industrial action by pilots and engineers in Bristow and the impending strike at Caverton spearheaded by another union calling for better arrangement to the issue of a national carrier to be or not to be and the rot in the sector.
These respondents who made their thoughts known to Nigerian Flight Deck anonymously via electronic mail addressed the issues that have reared their heads in the past few weeks, stating that Nigeria as a country deserves better behaviour from people conducting business within the country’s shores tagging as embarrassing what was happening at both Bristow and Caverton.
One of the respondents however did not exempt the unions from blame even as she had earlier criticised the companies for their action if they were true.
She said, “What is happening if true, certainly cannot be right. The reaction of the Union is not also right but perhaps provoked, so when you provoke someone, you should expect a reaction. In all, the provoker and the provoked are guilty and they should be called to order by the relevant authorities. The nation is embarrassed when such things are aired because the whole world sees it.”
She called for whatever supervisory organ of government to step up their activities to ensure that organisations are policed not to allow things get to the current state, “Nigeria deserves better behaviour from people conducting business within its shores. The supervisory agencies have to step up their gear in this area. Ineptitude has no place in a highly safety driven industry such as Nigeria.”
“The root cause should be addressed because Nigeria has the capacity to provide the manpower the industry needs. Proper laws should also be in place and policed to ensure Nigerians get their fair share of jobs even if the company is owned by foreign investors. There are models to copy all over.”
Another respondent who reacted looked at the entire issue from another perspective stating that the country has manpower but that the manpower lacked the proper orientation towards how they contribute to sustain their jobs. They have to be taught the right orientation which should include the way they should perceive their role in supporting the establishment they work for and the proper discipline at work
He said, “We seem not to want to address the real issues causing these problems. In a country like Nigeria with nearly 200 million people, with at least 40% thoroughly educated in one field or another including Aviation beholding brilliant and intelligent men and women, we are not only a huge market but technocrat nation in the field of aviation, yet we are still struggling the way we are, is just simply shocking to most reasonable men and women outside Nigeria. “
“It is pure lack of patriotism, seriousness and greed!! Lack of pariotism: We prefer foreign travels for everything we have manpower to do here, we give credence to travelling abroad in the guise to view and copy others without the real intention to actually develop our system back home but to make selfish gains and satisfy cheap ego.”
“This is repetitive with every incoming government/leadership that it now seems to observers abroad like a circus show, one entertainer comes another goes and the circus continues, shame. Being that foreign observers see the great potential market that exist in this great country, they strategize and work with our unsuspecting or inept Nigerians only to create a haven opportunity of business for their country and citizens at our expense. “
“On the part of the professional staff, they are most hardworking you can find on the continent and even when they go elsewhere, this trait exhibits itself easily for employers to see. The problem is that an average Nigerian worker in aviation lack the proper orientation towards how they uphold and contribute to sustain their jobs. “
“They have to be taught the right orientation which should include the way they should perceive their role in supporting the establishment they work for and the proper discipline at work. This will place them at par with the American, British or foreign nationals that local employers seem to prefer no matter the cost over them. It is not always about the ability to do the job, not at all. It is about very bad attitude to work, simple. It is also the simple truth, even though bitter to swallow.”
On the issue of a national carrier, a respondent blamed ineptitude of leadership, corruption and lack of patriotic zeal as what has bedevilled this sector for decades.
He said, “One can likened it to the arms deal investigation going one in the country. In fact, the money lost so far by Nigeria and we continue to loose daily is by far more than that of the arms deal. Let’s just look at what we see in the airports in Nigeria today. You see British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, Iberia, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish, Kenya, Ethiopian, Egypt Air, Delta, Continental, South Africa you name it. Without meaning to insult any one with all due respect; even a lunatic sleeping under the airport bridge knows something is wrong.”
“ Let me just show a simple easy to follow example of how sad the level of greed, ineptitude, lack of patriotism and self-destructiveness with which we ran this sector for decades: To operate one aircraft of the sizes that come here, it takes at least 12 to 33 people at a time per flight to operate these machines only. These people come with their country registered aircraft and their people operating them. You do the math, how many jobs is there? How many are the current operator providing? “
“We keep saying we want autonomy to do things, we want rights to do things, for over 30 years we copied the global norm of privatization of the sector, and local airlines have struggled but failed to provide the right capacity to compete. This issue requires a positive action by Government if ever we intend to solve this and be independent one day. “
“It is a shame that we provide market for others and fail to compete in it. All the resources are in abundance, but greedy people have succeeded in deceiving Government upon government to maintain status quo and take no action. It is sad indeed that Nigeria could be made to remain in modern slavery instead of reinvesting, after the ill advice to sell off Nigeria Airways instead of privatize at that time to create a robust National carrier which could have become a huge cash cow and job creator for Nigerians.”
“All these foreign Airlines would have bought into it than fly here on their own, they can still also in the future do same if we create a good Nigerian National carrier. Recall example; BA and Iberia etc. There has been a lot of technical and commercial jargon expressed by presumed paid agents within the executive and the legislature as well as so-called experts to deceive Government and Nigerians to believe the opposite and stay action at the expense of Nigeria and Nigerians. It is really sad and a gross pity. “
“The fear of unknown is normal. There are opportunists in the system who as operators still do not understand the dynamics of the way aviation works. The professionals in the sector have not helped in this area at all. Every pilot and engineer, who are the main technocrats of the trade have done well technically, but they have failed our nation woefully. “
“Yes I have heard arguments about local investor saying National carrier will put them out of business, it is a genuine fear, but it is not true, absolutely not true. The ineptitude in leadership mentioned earlier comes to bear here. There is more than enough for everybody in Nigerian aviation market. It is all over, it is like building a hut on a soil under which huge diamond deposit lay. That’s the truth. But in this case not only mediocrity, but greed will not allow people to say and accept the truth.”
In advising government, a respondent called for a state of emergency to be declared in the sector to expressly deal with the many ramifications of the hydra headed problems faced by the country.
According to him, the President Muhammed Buhari must either go against his beliefs and oath or do the right thing which will definitely create the aviation Nigeria deserves and grow it locally
”Remember, the truth is a bitter pill to swallow, but that does not change the facts that he has a monumental problem in the sector which he can solve with little money and courage which we know him to possess in abundance. Aviation is in a real mess, he should declare a state of emergency in that sector and setup a strong committee of credible men and women of his own direct findings to look into the rot as he did the defence ministry wherefrom Dasukigate now emerged at this monumental scare level. It is worse in aviation I can guarantee you.”