Stakeholders in the aviation industry have expressed support for the hike in the standard pilot fee of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.
They said the tuition hike was long overdue as the institution had not reviewed its fee in a long time.
Media had reported that NCAT announced an upward review of the standard pilot course fee from N7m to N13m due to inflationary trends and exchange rate volatility.
Speaking with our correspondent in Abuja on Friday, the President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria and former Chief Executive Officer, Associated Airlines, Alex Nwuba, said although it was painful to be paying more as the economy bites harder, the hike was not out of place, adding that prices were rising for everyone including cost of the academic staff and fuel for operations.
He said, “The easiest thing to do is review the exchange rate and you will see that in real terms it is cheaper today than it was ten years ago. Yet, wages aren’t rising to keep up with inflation and can’t otherwise things will get out of hand.”
He further noted that student attendance would drop, stressing that it was cheaper than going abroad.
“We need to pray for the reform of our economy so that citizens can improve their quality of life,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer, Top Brass Aviation, Capt Roland Iyayi, said there was every likelihood that the increment would affect the students population going forward, adding that students were supposed to get the support of the state government and corporate bodies to enable them take the course.
Iyayi said, “I suspected that it would affect the students population but ideally, the course itself is actually meant to be that the state government or corporate bodies ought to support students.
“Unfortunately, we have not had a responsive government to sponsor them, students have to quickly find their way in trying to get these courses done.
“Ordinarily, it is not supposed to b; In a more developing societies, students usually get loan facilities to run the courses.
He added, ”NCAT has not increased their tuition fees in a long time unfortunately, it has been caught up with the economic crisis. if you have all these costs that are going up, there is no way one would be able to manage.”
He, however, said that he did not think the tuition hike was to make things more difficult for students.
He added that the percentage increase in the fee was fair compared to other schools, stressing that if the school failed to raise the fee it might end up struggling to meet up with demands.