IMMEDIATE past President of industry think tank group, Aviation Round Table (ART), Captain Dele Ore and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) have identified weak aviation regulation as one of the reasons for the gradual collapse of aviation in Nigeria.
Both parties spoke in separate fora while noting that very poor and weak aviation regulatory regime which managers in the sector have failed to change.
Captain Dele Ore who spoke explained that government policies and interference, lack of infrastructure, maintenance, repair and overhaul facilities were responsible the serious decline in the aviation sector.
The former Director of Flight Operations of the defunct National Carrier said that crisis in the aviation sector in the country became alarming when the Nigeria airways was carelessly liquidated resulting in unemployment adding that since then that the domestic airlines have continued to die.
He noted that the Nigeria airways at the time of liquidation, was an ongoing concern in which its assets were more than its debts stressing, that instead of reviving it, the government went ahead to crumble it leading to the end of training of professionals in the sector while shortage of manpower became a problem.
The aviation lawyer also noted that the declining rate of the naira has negatively affected the operations of airlines in the country.
Ore condemned the weak regulatory body in the aviation sector saying that the country does not have strong regulatory body in place warning against decline in safety enforcement if not checked.
According to him, the country does not have a hub, no flag carrier to represent Nigeria across the globe but other foreign carriers were allowed to operate multiple designations on domestic routes in the name of open skies agreement as a result of government bad policies.
On how to revive the aviation sector, he called for a renegotiation of all Bilateral Air Services Agreement BASA to restore hope for domestic airlines, establish as a matter of urgency Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facilities and to put a strong regulatory authority in place without government interference as stipulated in the civilian aviation regulations of 2006.
Capt Ore, urged government to establish simulator for training and retraining of pilots while the airlines should merge for a better performance and to resolve the aviation fuel crisis.
Speaking in the same vein, the Secretary general of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals ANAP, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu also said aviation in Nigeria started witnessing its gradual collapse immediately the Nigeria Airways was liquidated with corruption taken over the industry as professionals became unemployed.
According to Saidu, wrong people were appointed into positions meant for professionals and the industry nose-dived. “The gradual collapse of Aviation arose from the so-called liquidation of Nigeria Airways. It was a back door unfortunate action taken then by the government”
“We got it wrong by political appointments instead of putting a round peg in round hole by way of Professionalism, they politicised positions meant for professionals and the result is what we are witnessing today”
He blamed the government for corruption, diversion of funds and contract scam in the sector as a result of bad policies in the sector and the influence of politicians in the day-to-day running of the industry.
ANAP Secretary general called for the immediate constitution of boards of various parastatals in the aviation sector to monitor the industry. “None existence of Boards in all the parastatals gave easy access to the minister and their ministries to impose selfish aim policy spenders.. Bad spenders such as contract scams, employment scams, abuse of offices, diversion and much more mismanagement of revenue etc without punishing anybody”
According to him, for the industry to recover, “We can get back to track when the policy of people in power focused on professionalism and eradication of corrupt tendencies.
Aviation ministry should be put under transportation to allow NCAA perform efficiently and effectively”