Capt. Ore decries FG’s unfavourable policies in aviation industry
Renowned aviation expert and former President of Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore has decried the federal government’s unfavourable policies in aviation industry.
Ore while frowning against such government policies noted that they are militating against the growth of the industry.
Speaking in Lagos over the weekend, capt. Ore observed that some of these unfavourable policies like the continuous signing of Bilateral Air Service Agreements, BASAs, by the federal government with several foreign countries would continue to hamper the growth of the airline sub-sector in the country.
He maintained that the lack of sufficiently trained and type-rated technical personnel in the nation’s aviation industry would always give rooms for expatriates to take over the jobs of local people.
Ore added that bad policy formulations and implementations by the government in the past led to the early collapse of some operating airlines in the country.
He stated further that despite all the concerns raised so far, government has continued with the same bad policies to the detriment of the growth and development of the industry.
He condemned issue of multiple entries for foreign airlines without any reciprocity from their Nigerian counterparts.
Ore explained that though there was nothing wrong with signing of BASAs, but maintained that the nation must benefit with such arrangements.
He was however silent on the recent BASA arrangement with the Qatari Government, saying that he was yet to see the details.
According to him: “Nothing has happened to improve the policies for the airlines. Our policies will soon drown airlines that are operational. We still have multiple entry points for foreign carriers. With that policy, we are killing our domestic carriers. We are indirectly opening up our airspace courtesy of such agreements.
It’s only the ground handling companies that are doing well in the sector while others are crawling. We don’t have enough places to train personnel for the sector and nothing has been done in the past six months of Sen. Hadi Sirika as a Minister of State for Aviation to curtail capital flights in the sector.”
Ore also warned that with the high level of expatriates taking over positions of local technical personnel, the next 10 years might be worse for the Nigerian aviation industry.
He pointed out that several pilots trained from different aviation colleges in the country and beyond are roaming the streets without jobs, positing that local airlines are getting dispensation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for expatriate quota, which would negatively affect Nigerian professionals in the future.
He decried that as far back as 1984, the former Nigerian Airways had put Nigerians in critical positions, but the reverse was the case now as foreigners had taken over.
In his words, “If care is not taken, soon, we will have half-baked aircraft commanders in the cockpit. The government should come up with a policy that says at least, we must have a Nigerian in the cockpit even if not as a commander, a Nigerian should act as a co-pilot.”