From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria ( AON), Captain Nogie Meggison said unless Nigeria establishes an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul ( MRO) facility in the country, the aviation sector will not optimize the inherent potentials and benefits of the sector.
He said setting up a national carrier without critical back-up facility that can be easily access will impede the development of the sector.
He describe aircraft MROs as having the capacity to create thousands of jobs and retain huge sums of money in the country that indigenous carriers spent on the repairs of their aircraft oversees.
Speaking in Lagos, the AON leader who is also the President of JedAir, said setting up a aircraft maintenance facility in the country will assist to train the horde of aviation professionals in the country including aircraft engineers.
“the unfavourable government policy of granting multiple entry points to foreign carriers into Nigeria has contributed to the stunted growth of indigenous airlines.”
Meggison noted that the unfriendly business environment where operators grapple with multiple charges has not accelerated the process that would lead to private sector players showing interest in setting up aircraft repair centres.
He said if some of the intervention fund given by government were channelled into the establishment of aircraft repairs facility, the industry would have made some progress.
“I don’t think the national carrier is the issue. Our policies are the issue. We had a national carrier in the defunct Nigeria Airways. One of the main issue was not being able to pay for its maintenance bills of air planes scattered all over the world including Brazil, Ireland, Germany, France, USA, and Israel,” he added.