INVESTORS and stakeholders in the aviation industry have aligned themselves with Federal Government’s plan to concession some of the nation’s airports expressing a buy in to the whole concept while stating that it was about time unless the country’s aviation will remain stagnant.Speaking on Saturday at a one day stakeholders’ forum held at the Sheraton Hotel and Suites, notable aviation industry players like Captain Dele Ore, managing director of Medview Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole as well as managing director of IRS Airlines, Alhaji Ishiaku Rabiu Ishiaku backed the idea.
According to veteran pilot and managing director of Aeroconsult, captain Dele Ore who led the flurry of buy-ins, the Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika is now listening to what they had asked for for years.
Ore who spoke said,” we can see that you (Minister) are looking at the recommendations that we have made in the past and are implementing it but it is not being done totally and we urge you to go back and look at our recommendations and totally implement it.”
Also speaking, the managing director of Medview, Alhaji Muneer Bankole who looked at it from the aspect of service provision told the minister and the gathering that all the airlines wanted was good service and if it takes concession of facilities to bring that about then so be it.
” on my capacity and on behalf of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), all we want is service. I speak on behalf of my colleagues when I say most of us have been out of the country and know what entails in terms of service delivery.”
“We do not get that kind of service here because of the way things are. We need to let you all know that out there, service is provided and if it would take concessioning of airports for us to get the kind of service that would make us at par with others then by all means concession because the status quo is nothing to write home about,” he said.
While advising all stakeholders, managing director of IRS Airlines, Alhaji Ishiaku Rabiu Ishiaku said that this was an opportunity for Nigeria as a country to get it right finally.
According to him, aviation has moved ahead of the country in bounds and concession to address the infrastructure deficit is the way to go as only then would the country take its place among the comity of aviation nations.
While responding, the Minister was grateful for the alignment of thoughts and promised to consult with captain Ore as well as look at the recommendations made on their concession committee to get more input from it.
Sirika however said the endorsements did not mean that government should rest on its oars or blow its own trumpet but assured that if the concession was done right, transparent and bereft of personal biases it would work.
He, however, said without interactions like the one currently held and the whole idea wrapped in secrecy, the entire concession had failed before taking off.
Sirika said,” I am grateful for the flurry of support and if we do well and get it right and get commendations after it, I will take it as a bonus and if we do well and get it right and are eventually booed, I will take it as the burden of leadership.”