Having Aviation As Government Priority Will Eliminate Airline Remittance Blockages, Says Olowo

Having Aviation As Government Priority Will Eliminate Airline Remittance Blockages, Says Olowo

The President of Sabre West Africa and former President of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), Dr. Gabriel Olowo says the huge foreign exchange that could be generated if government makes aviation a priority would help to check the problem of airline remittance blockage.

In his opening remarks as Chairman at the 52nd Annual General Meeting & Conference of the Nigerian  Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Olowo said “if the political authorities prioritize aviation, the huge FX going yearly for Religious Tourism (Israel & Mecca) will more than wipe out the Airline Remittance backlogs and other needs of domestic carriers.”

“The shameful backlog of foreign airlines home remittance and the many cries of domestic carriers (past and present) will make angelic operation fail in Nigeria. Remember Branson’s Virgin Nigeria, when Virgin America in the US, Virgin Blue in Asia and Virgin Atlantic in the UK are all thriving in their respective country of business,” he said.

Olowo noted that in the recently concluded “ICA0 Universal Safety oversight Audit- continuous monitoring approach speaks very loudly to our ‘’MUST FOCUS’’ priority in Nigeria Aviation Sector. Regrettably, Air Navigation Service (ANS) scored 44% which is far below the global average of 65% and this imparted Nigeria’s total performance by negative 21%. Operations scored 62% below 71% global average.  Aerodromes scored 56% below 63% global average.”

In the comparative analysis of Nigeria’s performance versus global average 2023, Legislation was 90.48% 76.55% +14.29%. Organization -83.33% 71% +12.23%. Personnel Licensing – 83.91% 73.19% +10.72% Operations – 62.07% 70.68% -8.61%. Airworthiness -94% 83.08% +10.92%. Accident Investigation- 89.29% 54.82% +34.47%. Air Navigation Services- 44.26% 65.32% -21.06%. Aerodromes- 56% 62.59% -6.59%. Effective Implementation -70% 75% -5%

From the analysis, Nigeria performed above global average in five areas namely: Legislation, Organization, Personnel Licensing, Airworthiness and Accident Investigation. Airworthiness had the highest score of 94%.

The country performed below global average in three areas which lowered its effective implementation score below global average score of 75%. The three areas are namely: Air Navigation Services at 48.63%, Aerodromes at 56%, and operations at 62.07%.

Olowo said “overall, performance of Nigeria was 70% which is below global average of 75% where South Africa is said to be about 90%.”

Nigeria is above Global average in Legislation- 90/76, Accident Investigation -89/55, Organization- 83/71 and  Personnel licensing -84/73

“While this is commendable and should have been sustained, it is imperative for the current administration to prioritize and address the appalling performance in Air Navigation Service (ANS), Operations and Aerodromes,” he said.

He frowned at the prevailing existence of blind spots in Nigeria’s airspace “when there is no communication between departure and destination points in flight, despite the huge investment in total radar coverage. I hope that has changed.”

He commended the Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development, Barrister Festus Keyamo (SAN) “for the surgical operation of shutting down MMA1 that has been a national disgrace, suffering from total neglect of decades despite being the biggest revenue earner for FAAN and Nigeria’s number one gateway. It is also sad to note that it is the most expensive airport in the world despite the poor facilities and service delivery.”

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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