National carrier: Stakeholders disagree with FG’s panel - PUNCH
BY Maureen Ihua-Maduenyi
Aviation experts have said they are not in agreement with the working committee set up by the Federal Government to champion the take-off of the proposed national carrier.
The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, a group of experts in the industry, on Friday stated that the probability of the committee’s emotional influence on the finished product might not be very encouraging.
The group, in a statement singed on its behalf by Olumide Ohunayo, said, “The ART knows that an ideal national carrier must be domestically registered with the support and encouragement of the citizens through the objective actions of the government irrespective of party affiliation.
“The ART is not in sync with the committee made up of government agency heads to midwife the process of setting up the proposed national carrier. We as professionals in the industry are advising a cautious approach to this project.
“The probability of the directed committee’s emotional influence on the finished product is not very encouraging. We will perhaps encourage not just a minimal involvement of the government in the process, but also her restriction to establishing a level playing field for the Nigerian public’s participation as investors.”
Last month, it was reported that the Federal Government had at a meeting presided over by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, inaugurated a nine-man task force to oversee the commencement of the national carrier, saying that it would begin operations in December this year.
According to reports, the committee is headed by the Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu; while the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Muhtar Usman; and the Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed, are members.
Other members of the committee are the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr. Akin Olateru; a representative of the national carrier transaction adviser, Capt. Tilmann Gabriel; a representative of the transaction adviser for the MRO and Aviation Leasing Company, Layi Are; and the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Mr. Chidi Izuwah; while the Technical Assistant to the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Ben Tukur, serves as the secretary.
The ART, however, stated that its position was patriotic and geared towards avoiding the possible colossal and usual loss of both revenue and man hours from the nation’s commonwealth as experienced with the past unguided attempts.