Declare aviation essential service, stakeholders urge govt

Stakeholders in the aviation industry have called on the government to declare the sector a provider of essential services in line with global best practices.

They argued that the declaration would make the sector get the attention it needs.

These were parts of the communiqué reached at the end of the Quarter One Breakfast Business Meeting held recently by the Aviation Round Table.

The communiqué obtained by our correspondent in Abuja signed by the President of ART Dr Gabriel Olowo, stated that the stakeholders also challenged the Federal Government to minimise its interference in the running of aviation business in the country.

It noted that the challenges facing  aviation financing could be largely addressed through the creation of an aviation bank where all the operators and auxiliary service stakeholders could participate in terms of contributions.

The stakeholders said that through the establishment of the bank, the government should make provisions for single-digit interest loans, stressing that this would be easily accessed by the players.

They, however, appealed to the government to reduce its involvement in the aviation business, arguing that the government should only provide an enabling environment for investors with maximum monitoring to ensure compliance.

It also said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should ensure effective enforcement of the industry standards by investors.

The stakeholders said that to ensure transparency in the execution of public policy, extant bureaucratic bottlenecks were to be curtailed by the government, adding that the sector should be oriented to drive tourism for the overall economic development of Nigeria.

“Aviation remains a veritable catalyst for the profitable hospitality industry and the generation of foreign currency as revenue for the Nigerian aviation sector. Rail projects should be linked to airports in order to enhance multimodal transportation,” they added.

The body also called for the harmonisation and utilisation of aviation-related data in planning policies to ensure accuracy and avoid conflicting data from various government ministries, departments and agencies.

They further canvassed for deliberate efforts to build strong institutions rather than strong individuals.

 ART said preference should be given to competence and professionalism in the appointment of directors to various government agencies in the sector and allied departments, stressing that the aviation industry should be oriented to drive the overall economic development of Nigeria.

Article first published on the Punch Website

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