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THE AIR TRANSPORT INDUSTRY: What Options for Nigeria.

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By Capt Jonathan Ibrahim

Nigerians need to know that Nigeria represent one of the most attractive Countries in the World in terms of the vast passenger and Cargo potential and its continuously developing market.

To tap into this potential and serve the traveling public, Nigeria needs safe and reliable air transportation network, with the highest quality of service wich a one-man airlines or Family airlines can not offer.

Unfortunately, instead of establishing a modern air transformation system in the Country, we are witnessing a number of gang ups, opposing ‘Nigeria Air’, by those who pretend that they are experts, while others have become all- Knowing. Some also are beclouded by pride, greed and selfishness hating everything “Sirika”.

While many others make sincere and patriotic contributions. Let’s give credit, where credit is due. Not everything is bad about ‘Sirika’. The former HMA is human, so also are we.

With all humility, i would like to contribute to the hue and cry about a National Carrier. 13 African Francophone Countries tried to run ‘Air Afrique’, but failed. 10 failed attempts to float a National Carrier. Nigeria the biggest and the most populous black African country, ran aground ‘Nigeria Airways’. 130 individuals and families floated airlines in Nigeria alone and only about 15 are struggling to survive under the following reasons:
1. Currency Devaluation. 2. Steep Fuel Cost. 3. Obsolete Fleet. 4. Diminishing yields
5. Large Investment requirements. 6. Global Economic Recession. 7. Lack of Maintenance Facilities. 8. Poor Financial state to invest in Qualified Man Power, Aircraft and the associated infrastructure that is necessary for Operations. 9. Inadequate and unreliable Service to the Traveling Public and the Travel Trade.
10. A disjointed Air Transport Network, sparse route network and narrow market penetration.
11. International image at an all time loan.
12. Private initiatives (entrepreneurs) unsupported, unassisted and generally sabotaged.
13. Real and patriotic professionals across the board unable to exert much influence in industry direction settings.

Nigerians were made to believe that the industry could be managed and practiced safely and expeditiously by ‘crops of all comers’. Indeed these hands came on the scene and wrecked great havock that shook the holding struts of discipline in the industry. These one-man Airlines or family airlines did not fail because they were not technocrats in the relevant fields. They also did not fail because there was a dearth in the flow of qualitative advice and good reasoning. They failed because they rode on the scene in the chariots of political whims and caprices. Their reasoning and motivations were seriously rooted on pride, greed and selfishness. Their lack of experience hastened their slide on the negative curve, and not knowing that maintaining the Aviation business in a healthy state is capital intensive.

Nigeria is one of the developing third world countries and you dare not compare it to the developed countries. We have to learn how to walk before we run.
The saying that “Government has no business in business”, does not apply to a third world country like Nigeria. Black Africa, especially Nigeria is not ready and matured for that. Nothing stops Government from taking shares in a PPP or partnership arrangement if it is minimal. As a limited liability company can everything about it be told to the world? All informations that an individual needs to know is available at the CAC.

The World Airlines are now Merging, Partnering, Code Sharing and acquiring each other in order to establish 5 Mega Carriers. This is an International Aviation conspiracy which is held in secrecy by the advanced countries. Africa and other 3rd World Countries can only feed them regionally. Do you want Africa and Nigeria to be left out? A word is enough for the wise.

If I may ask, why can’t all the domestic and regional carriers merge or partner to float a Flag Carrier that would give the National Carrier a good and honest competition on the Domestic, Regional and International routes? If this is possible, without rivalry, Nigeria would have two carriers, one flag carrier and the other, National Carrier. Why is Nigeria any Different? Our best bet is to Partner with a Prospective African Airline because the Western or Eastern World are nor ready to help or invest in Black Africa for reasons known to us all.
With the World economic recession, affecting Africa the most, no one Man or Family airline can survive for more than 10years.

Some Airline Operators equated Nigeria Air to Monopolistic Domination. If anybody says so, what about Kenyan Airways, Japan Airways, South African Airways, Ethiopian Airways, Royal Air Moroc, British Airways, KLM, Pan Am, Air France, Saudi Air, China Airlines, to mention a few?

All these Airlines are supported directly or indirectly and also nurtured to embody the hopes and aspirations of their Mother Nations Economically. They go by Fanciful names and deceitful nomenclature, but at the end, they stop Capital Flight, sustain highly Specialized jobs and ancillary industries with untold multiplayer effects to enable them compete with other National rival Airlines.

ET, an African country has knowledgeable and experienced management, financial and maintenance capability and its a member of AFRAA, IATA, ICAO and other international bodies of wich Nigeria is a one.
One can rightly say that we are entering a crucial period for the Airline Operations in Nigeria and the World in general. Demand for air travel is continuing to grow. Good air links are extremely important to business not only in Nigeria but the region as well. Providing access to the markets, linking all the countries in the region, as well as bringing inward investment.

We need a Flag Carrier, a National Carrier and our National Pride BACK.

You are free to criticize, reject or add to my humble contribution. Thank you Sirs.

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Aviation

Private Jets Operating Commercial Services to Lose Licences – NCAA DG

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The Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Chris Najomo has warned that all private jet operators operating commercial charter services risks loosing their licenses.

He gave the warning in Lagos on Friday during the media unveiling of his vision board for year 2024 tagged NCAA Project 2024.

The Ag.DG, who expressed concern over the illicit activities of illegal private jet operators in the country, said if private jets wants to operate as commercial or charter operators, they should apply for the commercial licences.

Highlighting the regulatory provisions, Najomo noted that only holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) are authorized to conduct charter operations.

He also stated that NCAA will cease offering services to all debtors, who have refused to payment the NCAA and federal government monies owed them, noting that almost all airlines are guilty of this.
Nigerian airlines are currently indeed to NCAA in billions of naira.

He also said the NCAA is committed towards simplified certification and licensing processes as this will ensure ease of doing business.

Najomo further stated that one of his 2024 projects is to Ensure improved staff welfare, training, retraining and reorientation of staff.

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NDLEA Arraigns SAHCO Manager, 7 Staff For Aiding Drug Trafficking

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An Assistant General Manager of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), Olajide Ahmed Kafidipe, and seven other staff of the company, were today, arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, on charges bordering of conspiracy, unlawful importation and possession of 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol.

Olajide and others were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Deinde Isaac Dipeolu, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The seven staff of the company arraigned alongside Olajide were; Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele; Musa Mutalib Opeyemi; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Anuge Evans Isibor; Mahmud Agboola Musa; Udeh Felix and Obinna Henry.

The prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, while arraigning the SAHCO staff, told the court that all the defendants conspired with the trio of Mubarak Sarki Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu a.k.a Aboki and Anwal Monday, who also staff of the company but now at large, to commit the offences on or about October 25, 2023.

The prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim further told the court that the Assistant General Manager of SAHCO, Olajide and other staff of the company, conspired amongst yourself to transport 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic, from SAHCO Import Shed.

The prosecutor also told the court that the SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager, Olajide, conspired with Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, and procured one Lawal Itunu Temitope, to transport the prohibited substance from SAHCO Import Shed in a Mercedes Benz Bus with Registration Number LAGOS MUS 269 YC, belonging to Platinum Pacific International Limited.

He further informed the court that another staff of SAHCO, Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, unlawfully possessed the said 1, 440. 90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic Analgesic.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendants, contravened sections 14 (b), 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And punishable under sections 11 (b) and 20 (2)(b) of the same Act.

All the defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand them in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, lawyers to the defendants, told the court that they have filed their clients’ bail application except that of the Assistant General Manager, Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide and Obinna Henry.

The lawyer therefore asked the court for a short date, to enable them file the bail applications for the duo.

With the development, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, urged the court to remand all the defendants in NCoS’ custody till when the court will hear their bail applications.

But the trial judge, Justice Dipeolu, in his reasoning, order the operatives of the NDLEA to call their Airport Commander, to allow the defendants to be remanded in their custody till tomorrow, January 17, when their bail applications will be heard and determined.

Upon the complied with the court’s directive, which was granted by the Commander, the court ordered the remand of all the defendants in NDLEA till tomorrow, while adjourned to January 24, 2024, for the commencement of their trial.
Source: Ontimenews.com

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Tinubu Sacks Heads of Aviation Agencies, Asks EFCC to Investigate NCAA’s Financial Transactions

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In a move that has caught stakeholders in the Aviation sector unawares, President Bola Tinubu has approved the suspension, removal, and replacement of Chief Executive Officers under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development

The Special Adviser to the President Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale who made this known in a statement on Wednesday, said the leadership change is in line with the President’s determination to bring world class standards to Nigerian Civil Aviation in consumer protection and the promotion of the wellbeing of Nigerian passengers and other sectoral stakeholders.

Ngelale announced that the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Kabir Yusuf Mohammed has been removed from office and replaced with Mrs. Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku as the substantive Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

Also, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Tayib Adetunji Odunowo has been removed from office and replaced with Engr. Umar Ahmed Farouk as the substantive Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Engr. Akinola Olateru has been removed from office and replaced with Mr. Alex Badeh Jr. as the substantive Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu has been removed from office and replaced with Prof. Charles Anosike as the substantive Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.

He further noted that the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Capt. Alkali Mahmud Modibbo has been removed from office and replaced with Mr. Joseph Shaka Imalighwe as the Acting Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), pending the appointment of a substantive Rector, in accordance with Section 13(2) of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Act, 2022.

Meanwhile, Ngelale announced that the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu has been suspended from office to enable the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an unfettered investigation into the activities of the suspended Director-General and other senior officials in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, adding that Capt. Chris Najomo assumes office as the Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority immediately.

“Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu approves the commencement of a diligent process to be conducted by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development to recruit a substantive Vice-Chancellor and other principal officers of the African Aviation and Aerospace University (AAAU).

“The President anticipates that the new leadership across this critical sector will uphold the safety, convenience, and comfort of the Nigerian people as primary and sacrosanct in all of their administrative activities.

“Due to the high cost of underperformance in the sector, the President demands the immediate establishment of world-class policy design, implementation, and regulatory frameworks to reposition the sector in alignment with his Renewed Hope Agenda.

“All of the above-mentioned directives of the President take immediate effect”, he concluded

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