- Calls for policy consistency to build stable industry
TOPBRASS Managing Director, Captain Roland Iyayi said the Bilateral AirServices Agreement ( BASA) is skewed unfavorably against Nigeria because those saddled with the responsibility of negotiating it from the Ministry are not core technocrats.
This is just as he has said that without policy consistency there will be no way of measuring the policies government has put in place to develop the industry as everyone who finds his or her way in tries to adapt policies to what they want and not adapt to policies.
Iyayi who spoke at the 23rd League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents ( LAAC) Conference 2019 at the Radisson Blu Ikeja those running aviation affairs have absolutely no clue what it means to negotiate bilateral agreements so the problem festers.
Iyayi said,”…We have a ministry running aviation affairs, the ministry is occupied by civil servants, the civil servants are not core technocrats when it comes to aviation. These are people with different background maybe with political science, history and all the rest of them. But if you have core aviation professionals, people who are conversant with negotiating bilateral agreements and people who are conversant with the dynamics of industry internationally, then it makes it a lot easier to go into another market and negotiate because you understand what you are negotiating.
“But if you have civil servants who have absolutely no clue what it means to negotiate bilateral agreements then we have a problem.
He advised, “So, until you understand that the weaknesses are the ones that we have introduced, I mean rather than take your ‘A’ team , we are taking a C team. It is not helpful. So when you go into an international negotiation you go with your best and your best are not necessarily people you have sitting in the ministry.
“You must get them together, people who understand the dynamics of the industry both locally and internationally. And of course people who can stand on their own to say well, this is what it is and this is what we are going to get. Until we have that we are not going to move forward. So that is essentially the problem.”
On policies and how they can impact on the industry, Iyayi expressed concern at the way they were being handled without the required gestation time to enable the policy reach fruition.
“Essentially, when you put a policy framework in place, it is assumed to be proactive because you are looking at the issues and you are proffering solutions by way of articulating a chart or course that you want to chart, to say this is the part we are going to thread over the next X number of years, to be able to see that we can grow a particular segment or segments of the industry and stay consistent with it.
“Not to say we have done it for few weeks and then say it is not aligning with what we want, so we change it. If you have inconsistencies you can never see the benefit of any policy you put in place. And I think that is the major thrust of all I have said. We have had policies in the past, not that we have not had, but we have never had them seen the light of day more or less.
“We have had things that have been put in place to politicise the industry, we have had things that have been done to make people look good, not necessarily doing their jobs. So, these are issues that I believe the government need to address holistically not in bits and bums, no. All these things are intertwined, you can’t separate one from the other. When you formulate a policy you must review the adverse impact vis a vis the benefits and then do cost benefit analysis to see how it adds up at the end of the day. Do we get a plus or a minus?
“That is the way a policy is put together but not the one that somebody says no , we are doing this today, block it this way without looking at how it affects everything else. Essentially I am saying let us stay consistent , lets focus, lets look at the issues and focus on the issues, put a framework in place to address those issues, allow the industry enough air to breathe so it can grow.