OVERLAND Airways Managing Director, Captain Edward Boyo and former Director General of Institute of Directors, Mr Victor Aderenle Banjo have aired contrasting views over why the lifespan of airlines in Nigeria is short.They gave their views separately at the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative Quarter 4 2018 Quarterly Business Breakfast Meeting with the theme, ”Short Life Span of Nigerian Airlines ,The Importance of Corporate Governance” at Golfview Hotel and Suite, Lagos.
According to Banjo, for domestic airlines to thrive in Nigeria, good corporate governance is key suggesting that the reforms used in sanitizing the banking industry should be introduced in the aviation sector especially for the airlines.
Banjo stated that if this was done, it would make the airlines more economically viable and increase their life span compared to what is currently obtained.
Banjo said that due to lack good corporate governance a lot of things go wrong taking cue from how airlines compose their board, adding that a situation where the Board of Directors of an airline is made up of father, mother, children , sisters and brothers of the owner does not augur well for the airline.
He said, “Who make up the airline’s Board of Directors; the father, wife, children, sisters and brothers of the owner.”
To buttress his point, he cited the case of the moribund Virgin Nigeria, which according to him suffered over bearing influence from the Federal Government.
He also said that a situation where the Managing Director of an airline and is also a pilot and still flies, ”who does he reports to.”
On his part, the Managing Director of Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo stated that it would be wrong to use the defunct Virgin Nigeria as a good model of an airline with good Corporate Governance, adding that the airline also made some mistake which the managers of the airline did not see.
Good Corporate Governance, he said is a given, adding that a situation where Nigerians built international terminal and hand it over to foreigners to operate would not be tolerated.
Good Corporate Governance alone, Boyo contended, cannot make airlines to have long life span, adding that it goes beyond that and that competence is very crucial in the management of airline.
In his words,”The key is competence and other factors. Everything must work together. NCAA is adopting style that is not compatible with Nigeria environment.”
On the pilot ownership, Boyo said that it should not be abused by commentators, as Overland Airways is acting in line within the provision of the law and that today the airline is not indebted to Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria(AMCON).
In his words, ”Overland Airways is the longest-serving airline in Nigeria today and we are not owing AMCON.”
He continued, “I am going to hand over leadership of the company at some point but not today .It should not be dictated from outside because we are working in line with the law.
Boyo pointed out that for airline to thrive the managers must have executive management, technical management, financial management, political management knowledge .No one of them can go alone.”