Following the directive of the federal government to all aviation agencies to relocate headquarters to Abuja within 45 days, the president of Aviation Round Table, ART, Elder Gbenga Olowo has stated that the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos being the highest revenue earner for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN & the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA will suffer some administrative slack with the seat of direct control being away from Lagos.
Olowo likened the relocation order to that of locating the bakery away from the production line and supply of flower.
Speaking in an interview with aviation Journalists in Lagos, Elder Olowo queried the relocation order to the agencies during Covid interstate movement restrictions.
He observed that direct and on the spot decision making by numerouno wi become delegated resulting to unnecessary gaps with timelines.
Elder Olowo stated further that major airlines headquatered in Lagos will have decisions and approvals slowed down with increased cost of many visits to Abuja.
According to him, “relocation order to the agencies during Covid 19 interstate movement restrictions, how possible and why the strict timeline given that Aviation businesses will gradually gain speed post Covid 19 probably quarter 3 2020.
In any case, the agencies physical presence and their heads have always being in Abuja safe for their empty seats in Lagos”.
He noted that the policy statement has been there for a while, adding that the stakeholders had thought economic judgement had prevailed on their staying behind all this while.
The ART boss explained that undue nearness will definitely erode the Autonomy status of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, given the place of Influence on political economy.
In his words: “Frequent Political interferences as it were in the past will increase more so as we are approaching another election year.
One will only hope the few good hands currently in place will not be politically dethroned on political preferences”.