Members of the unemployed Pilots Association of Nigeria have said that the new Aviation Master plan recently introduced by the new Minister of Aviation, Chief Ostia Chidoka remains the way forward to tackle the challenges that beset the industry.
According to Kenneth Nogie, the chairman of the association while speaking with MMS Plus Weekly in Lagos, last week, said tackling the challenges that beset the industry in line with the transformation agenda that is unfolding in the industry should be continued so as to make the Airports secure.
He however added that the ongoing projects should be continued and reviewed and emphasis be placed on critical projects to ensure safety and security at the Airports.
He said, “Unions should collaborate with the Federal Government to make sure that the aviation Master plan and the road map remain defining document in setting our way forward.’’
Meanwhile, poor Airport facilities, inadequate training and re-training of programmes for personnel, poor funding and security lapses absent of innovation and continuous improvements in the system are the malaise surrounding the Nigeria aviation.
Speaking further, Captain Nogie urged the new Minister to create employment for Nigerian Licensed Pilots numbering over 500 who the Federal Government abandoned for years without jobs to sustenance.
He said’’ It is unbelievable that Nigeria Licensed Pilots and Licensed Engineers have turned to motor cycle (Okada) riders in the street, even as he said that the only solution to tackle unemployment in the country is to place law on corruption; establishing Aircraft maintenance centre in the country so as to engage our unemployed Engineers.”
The President added that enabling policies should be implemented, that will create an equal opportunity for both Nigerian and foreign pilots and not the foreign pilots dominating the Nigerian pilots adding that over 300 foreign pilots are operating while their Nigerian counterparts remain unemployed.
Meanwhile, the Association urged the new Minister to draw closer to the unions and stakeholders in the industry to ascertain their opinions which will serve as a solution for tackling the challenges facing the sector or send delegates to act on behalf of him because according to him, “problem shared is problem solved”.