STAKEHOLDERS in the Nigerian Aviation Industry have agreed that until they ensure that there is integrity in all the transaction in the industry there will never be any growth and the industry will continue to wallow and grope at the dark instead of developing.This was one of the views of industry players who gathered at Golfview Hotel, Lagos for the 1st Aviation Transaction Integrity Summit organized by Aviation Monitor Limited with the theme, Enhancing Transaction Integrity in Nigeria’s Aviation Industry.
Setting the direction for discussions, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Usman Mukhar stated that enhancing transaction integrity in business cannot be equated with anything else.
Mukhar who was represented by Director of Consumer Protection, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi said, “Remember that starting or running a business with the sole purpose of making money is not the only objective, but a deliberate effort to make honour and integrity the hallmark. Enhancing transaction integrity in business cannot be equated with anything else. When a company is known for its transparency and integrity in business, it increases its chances to grow, make huge profits and have a loyal customer base.”
In a presentation by Chief Executive Officer of Belujane Konzult Limited, Mr. Chris Aligbe titled, The Importance Of Transaction Integrity In Aviation Policy Formulation & Implementation, he stated that any policy formulated for the public good without consulting the public or stakeholders is not in the interest of the public.
He emphasized the need for the NCAA to be fully involved in the process of airport concession if government actually had the intention, adding that “NCAA staff should be trained on how to regulate airports under a concession arrangement before the concession exercise starts.”
Mrs. Anastatia Gbem, Director of Legal Services, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) said, “Working within the framework of the law is key. For instance, taking the 5% ticket sales that belongs to government agency and putting it in your business is bad practice. There is so much impunity in the system because of lack of integrity. So, attitudes to business must improve for industry to grow” .
Chairman of the occasion and President of Aviation Round Table, Mr. Gbenga Olowo submitted that to achieve integrity in the system, there was a need for an upward review of airline fares to a more appropriate fare, considering the rate of inflation over the years, which air fares had not responded to.
In his own submission at the panel, the chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Nogie Megisson, who was represented by Mr. Ewos Iroro explained that there was no way the domestic airlines in Nigeria would survive with the existence of too many charges from both within and outside the sector, requesting that airlines should be involved in policy making processes from design point.
“Every minute an airline stays on ground is an additional cost. When one flight is delayed for 30 minutes, it affects the airline’s chain of operations at various locations. Yet, the airline cannot charge the passengers any extra cost,” he explained.
In his speech earlier, the publisher of Aviation Monitor Limited, organizer of the event, Mr. Albinus Chiedu said the summit was convened “to evaluate the level of integrity in business transactions, interactions, agreements and contracts implementation as well as respect for laws and morality in various dealings that occur in Nigeria’s aviation industry.”
He said, “the growth and development of Nigeria’s aviation sector has been challenged by issues of transaction integrity. For instance, duly signed contracts and agreements between parties have featured controversies at the middle of implementation over what the agreement originally was. Indebted service consumers have had to argue with service providers over how much was being owed, despite existing documentation processes. There are some consumer protection and customer relations cases where the service provider deliberately refuses to live up to expectation as required by law and morality. The issue of unclear employment status and contract staffing under the guise of outsourcing in organizations, as well as setting up of airlines that lack sound business models, are no less transaction integrity issues.”