The Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison has advised the Federal Government to compel foreign airlines to set up a line station for aircraft maintenance in the country and employ engineers as a means of assisting to turn around the growth of the aviation sector in the country.
The chairman said this while speaking with our correspondent at an event organised by Finum Aviation services in honour of late Engr.Zakariya Musa Haruna in Lagos, last week.
He said the government should put up a policy that would check the influx of foreign pilots and engineers into Nigeria by foreign carriers adding that there are over 1,000 foreign pilots engaged by bothz local and foreign registered airplanes flying in Nigeria.
According to him, the influx of the foreign pilots and engineers into Nigeria is having a negative impact on the home grown pilots who have no jobs even as he said that over 500 licensed Nigerian pilots are currently unemployed.
Captain Meggison who doubles as the Patron of Nigerian Professional Pilots (NPP) stated that if such policies are not put in place, the challenge of unemployment of pilots and engineers may not be resolved as soon as it should be.
He however regretted that Nigerian licensed youth pilots are now engaged in menial jobs to make ends meet.
“It is shameful that Nigerian licensed youth pilots are now driving “kabu abu” (commercial motorcycles) to make ends meet. This is totally unacceptable, not that there is no job but the jobs are taken by foreigners,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, a guest lecturer at the 2nd Engr. Zakariya Musa Haruna Memorial Lecture organised by Finum Aviation Services has said that technology is the driver of Nigerian economy.
He said mobile technology has helped to drive African economy hence, the need to domesticate it in Nigeria to help drive the economy because according to him, the internet penetration in Nigeria is almost zero.
However, the Managing Director, Finum Aviation Services, Mr. Sheri Kyari identified the problems facing aviation as high rate of unemployment of pilots thereby calling on the Federal Government to gear up security especially at the airports.
Mr. Kyari also advised the government to pay pensioners their pension money in due time so that there won’t problems of delay or incessant complaints by the pensioners.