- Stakeholders Want Private Sector-driven National Carrier
Aviation stakeholders have said that the planned national carrier should be devoid of government funding.
Members of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative stated on Friday that the government should only create an enabling environment for interested investors to operate the planned national carrier.
The ARTI noted that its reservations about government involvement were hinged on the disturbing development in the industry and the opaque conceptual issues attached to the proposed national carrier.
The ARTI said in a statement by its secretary, Olu Ohunayo, “We support the establishment of a national carrier devoid of government financial input but driven strictly by investors. Government should provide the necessary enabling ground and aero-political support environment.
“The ARTI’s support for this project is hinged on our recognition of the desirability of a national carrier and the observed floundering of our flag carriers on the international routes. These shortcomings are traceable to weak government policies and poor negotiation skills in various agreements.
“Therefore, the proposed national carrier should be granted full compliments of the appropriate status, and independence to be the arrowhead in the implementation of operational issues arising from Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreements to which Nigeria is a signatory unhindered by any concessions or agreements however made.”
The group also stated that all existing concessions and agreements from which benefits were being derived by individuals or corporate bodies capable of impinging on the operations of the proposed national carrier should be stopped.
“Any outstanding obligations arising from agreements made prior to the emergence of the national carrier must be renegotiated between the national carrier and such flag carrier which will be supervised by the regulator, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,” it added.
The ARTI said the corporate objective of the proposed carrier should be consistent delivery of excellent and competitive customer services, while global best standards of schedule integrity and global alliances should be adopted.
The group added, “It is vital that very knowledgeable aviators with cognate experience are selected to midwife the birth of the new national carrier, while the governing board of directors should be composed of persons with proven track records of success in the aviation industry.
“The berthing process should last for a period not less than three years from inception, and the national carrier should start with a fleet of 10 to 15 aircraft, and should be mandated to utilise the proceeds of all allocated frequencies strictly for fleet expansion and capacity building. This should be monitored for compliance by the NCAA.”