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How Aviation Stakeholders Lost Over N20 Billion In 5 Years



The activity of labor unions, according to industry stakeholders, is the biggest barrier to investment in the aviation sector.

How Aviation Stakeholders Lost Over N20 Billion In 5 Years

How Aviation Stakeholders Lost Over N20 Billion In 5 Years

They also note that over the past five years, the sector has lost about N20 billion due to unforeseen industrial strikes that could have been prevented.

The industry is projected to have lost over N4 billion to the sudden disruption of flight operations to domestic, international and cargo airlines for 14 hours on Monday when the workers of the Nigeria Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) went on strike without due notification to the airlines.

The foreign investors who were discouraged to invest in the aviation industry, cited lack of control of the unions as one of the factors leading to avoidable strikes. It was disclosed that one of the reasons why Spar Supermarket moved out of the Domestic Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA2) was constant disruption of its business due to incessant strikes, which affected those businesses that deal with perishables, including the eateries that record huge losses besides the loss of revenues.

Industry expert and the Executive Secretary of Aviation Round Table (ART), Group Captain John Ojikutu, told THISDAY that for too long the industry has allowed the unions have their way in their self-serving initiatives, embarking on strikes to press for their welfare while they kill organisations that sustain the industry.

“For too long, we have allowed this to happen because the regulatory authority, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) allowed it. I repeatedly said it when it happened to Bicourtney at the MMA2 Terminal that labour unions strike should not be conducted to disturb or disrupt other airport users, operators and services providers. If they have to demonstrate against their employers, it must be carried out in the employer’s main offices outside the airport general operational areas so as not to be disturbing or disrupting other operators,” Ojikutu said.

He noted that the main issue between the union and their employer NAHCO, which is about salary increase, needed to be thoroughly looked into.

With the huge losses of revenue of airlines and the inconveniences to passengers, Ojikutu wanted to know who would compensate the airlines and the passengers for the strike that disrupted activities at the airports.

“With the number of delays and cancellations on Monday, who will be responsible for paying the affected passengers and airlines compensation for their losses, NAHCO or NCAA or the passengers should hold the airlines responsible? NCAA should learn a lesson from what happened to its account being garnished in 2006 when an air traffic controller of NAMA (Nigeria Airspace Management Agency) cleared a cargo flight to land on a closed runway at MMIA. It was not the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) or NAMA that paid the money but the NCAA. When I insist that the oversight of any civil aviation function and enforcement of civil aviation regulations is the responsibility of the NCAA, and not the Ministry or the National Assembly, some persons wanted others to believe that I am too overbearing on the NCAA. The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) will hold the NCAA responsible any day on matters of civil aviation in this country and not the NASS nor the Ministry,” he said.


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