Aviation Stakeholders Call For Sanctions Against Public Officials Responsible For Industry Failure
“Public officials responsible for approvals that our detrimental to the growth of the industry should be sanctioned in or out of office”
This was part of the communiqué issued at the end of the 2022 Quarter 1 Business Breakfast Meeting (BBM) organized by Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) recently at Golfview Hotels, Ikeja, Lagos.
Theme of the event was Economic Implications Of Multiple Entry Points By Foreign Airlines Into Nigeria.
Industry players at the event equally posited that “the granting of multiple entry points to foreign airlines flying into Nigeria should be done in such a manner that it does not impede or work against the growth of domestic carriers and the economy. Therefore, commercial discussions and investments in our airlines should be encouraged” and that “picking and dropping of passengers beyond the designated point of entry should be banned, while entry points to the secondary international airports should be granted to any one specific airline.”
They also resolved that “Qualified professionals in Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASA) related issues should be engaged when attending meetings related to signing of BASAs between Nigeria and other countries” while “the current regime of multiple entry points into the country granted to airlines like Ethiopian, Qatar Airways, and others, may minimize the chances of success and survival of the proposed national carrier if it is eventually launched. All the multiple frequencies that have been granted to foreign airlines should be reviewed immediately.”
They insisted that “there should be transparent procedures and national interest in activities related to granting of frequencies and entries to foreign airlines. Entry points must be specific even though these may vary when dealing with sub regional and regional airlines due to multiple agreements signed and instruments deposited.
It is imperative for government to support the private airlines such that Nigeria as a country can develop very strong airlines that can compete effectively with foreign airlines while also avoiding a situation where some private investors are given more protections or concessions.
Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and other interested Nigerians should consider buying the 46% stake in the proposed national carrier and the government ‘s 5% when it is made available in a transparent process through the Nigerian stock exchange to expand the performance of the market and access to the proposed national airline.”
According to the speech of the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, which was delivered at the event by Group Capt John Ojikutu (Rtd), “The grant of entry into more than 2 airports in Nigeria exposes foreign airlines to domestic routes and therefore into the domestic markets of the domestic airline and this has its negative implications which include the following:
It is against the Carbotage Act. It does not allow the airlines to generate much needed revenue that would help in their growth. Although, it expands the business and grows the economy of foreign airlines, it also puts pressure on demand for forex as need to repatriate funds which they require for their smooth operations. Technically, its create capital flight from Nigeria. Nevertheless, there are prospects for domestic airlines as they have opportunities for improved domestic markets by distributing International passengers for connection with these airlines.”
Other speakers at the event were Mr. Abayomi Jones E, Former MD/CEO, Nigeria Airways; Alhaji Abdulmunaf Y. S, President, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), who was represented by AON Vice President, Barrister Allen Onyema; Capt. Prex Pobeni of ASRT; Mr Andrew Okunnuga, former MD of Nigeria Airways/1st VP, ASRTI; Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA) and Dr. Gbenga Olowo, President, ASRTI.