Aviation Round Table Safety Initiative (ARTSI), an umbrella body of highly respected aviation professionals, has indicated that there cannot be development in Nigeria’s aviation without sustained growth various sectors like airports, airlines and service providers.
In a communiqué at the end of its quarterly meeting in Lagos, it noted that for the nation to achieve this there has to be research, gathering and dissemination of accurate and adequate information, while government should create certainty in the system by respecting agreements that it signs in order to encourage investments and attract more investors.
Government, according to the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, must respect its agreements and ensure continuity in the implementation of policies to gain the confidence of foreign investors, government and individuals.
Government and all stakeholders must emphasise effective and relevant education, including skill acquisition to enable economic growth, government should go beyond paying lip service to the “Buy Nigeria” concept and take concrete measures towards local human capacity building and content production, massive training of production managers in Nigeria’s educational institutions, local production of at least, three out of 27 consumable items needed for airline operations such as tyres and aviation fuel, among others.
It urges all public office holders to bury personal interests, shun corruption and put Nigeria’s interest first and above parochial interests, emphasising the need to do a forensic audit of airline failure in Nigeria these past 40 years.
There is need for the National Assembly to, as a matter of urgency, review related laws and reduce the existing multiple taxes and charges (37 charges) paid by airlines so that they can survive, including the zero duty on aircraft spares policy that the Nigerian Customs Service is not complying with.
According to the document, it is necessary to ensure that only law makers who have knowledge of and or experience in aviation business are engaged in championing the making of aviation related laws, while government must review the laws that make it mandatory for Nigeria airlines to use local insurers even when put together, lack the capacity to insure one aircraft.
There is no economy that grows on double-digit interest rate for loans and therefore, the Debt Management Office and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must reduce the loan interest rates to single digits to encourage new businesses and attract more investment.
Airline operators, it said, can overcome the challenge of huge indebtedness to financial institutions by first, being sincere in their investment motives, create a sinking fund after securing a loan under an arrangement that a certain percentage of the monthly income is
deducted at source and flows into the bank; while a certain sum, inaccessible by both parties is saved. After sometime, proceeds of this inaccessible saving is forfeited to the bank and a total pay-off of the entire loan is made. There should be a constant engagement of government by
stakeholders in order to make government officials understand better, the workings and challenges of the aviation sector