AVIATION IN NIGERIA BEYOND 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS: CHALLENGES & PROSPECTS
A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF AVIATION SAFETY ROUND TABLE INITIATIVE (ASRTI) QUARTER 1, 2023 BREAKFAST BUSINESS MEETING HELD ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2, 2023 AT GOLFVIEW HOTELS, GRA, IKEJA, LAGOS
Speakers included Prof. Patrick Utomi, a Professor of Political Economy & Management Expert, representing Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Dr. Peter Obi; Prof. Anthony Kila, a professor of Strategy Development and Director, Commonwealth Institute for International Advanced & Professional Studies (CIAPS); Prof. Johnson Egwakhe Department of Business Administration, Babcock University; Prof. Kayode Soremekun, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti; Otunba Olarenwaju Jim-Kamal. the NNPP Lagos Gubernatorial Candidate and representative of the Presidential Candidate, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Dr. Gbenga Olowo, President, ASRTI.
At the end of the discussion, the following resolutions were reached:
- The session advocated minimal government involvement in aviation business in Nigeria. It opined that government participation be limited to the creation an enabling environment, and regulatory duties for private sector businesses to thrive. To this end, the CAA is required to ensure the effective enforcement and oversight of the economic regulations in accordance with global standard recommended practices.
- The focus of the Aviation sector in Nigeria should be consumer-centric for consumer satisfaction.
- In line with global best practices, aviation services should be declared as essential services.
- Challenges attributable to Aviation Financing could be frontally addressed through the creation of an Aviation Bank where all the operators and auxiliary service stakeholders will participate in terms of contributions and provisions will be made for single-digit interest loans.
- Airlines are to collaborate through the use of code-sharing and interlining agreements to enhance connectivity, profitablity and consumers satisfaction.
- Failure to inaugurate governing Boards of aviation and allied agencies in line with section 29:1 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act stifles initiatives and accountability.
- In order to ensure transparency in the execution of public policy, extant bureaucratic bottlenecks were to be curtailed.
- The aviation industry should be oriented to
drive tourism for the overall economic development of Nigeria. Aviation remains a veritable catalyst for a profitable hospitality industry and the generation of foreign currency as revenue for Nigerian aviation sector. Rail projects should be linked to airports in order to enhance multimodal transportation.
- Data catalyses growth and development. Efforts should be made to harmonise and utilise aviation-related data in planning aviation policies to ensure accuracy and avoid conflicting data from various government ministries, departments, and agencies.
- Deliberate efforts should be made to build strong institutions rather than strong individuals. Preference should be given to competence and professionalism in the appointment of Directors to various government agencies in the aviation and allied departments.