1000 foreign pilots engaged by Nigerian airline

OSITA CHIDOKA

Airline operators have called on the Federal Government to put in place a proactive policy that would address the projected 500 Nigerian licensed pilots that are unemployed.

There are indications that the Federal Government may have concluded plans to look into the high turn-over of pilots without jobs; a situation that has made so many of them take to menial jobs outside the sector.

Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Noggie Meggison lamented the number of unemployed pilots, adding that the number is increasing from the current 200 to an astronomical number when the over 100 student pilots’ sent to Jordan by the Kano State government would graduate later this year.

This is in addition to the 52 youths trained under the Federal Government Amnesty programme as well as the fresh batches 100 graduating from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), and the 40 from International Aviation College (IAC), in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He equally called on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to seriously focus his attention on the aviation industry and cause the removal of Value Added Tax ( VAT) on air transportation as other modes of transportation including foreign airline operating in and out of Nigeria are not paying VAT.

Meggison said unless something fast is done, such development constitutes a disincentive to the growth and development of the Nigerian aviation industry.

He further disclosed that over 400 Nigeria licensed aircraft engineers are also out of job, urging the Federal Government to put in place an employment policy that would ensure these aviation professionals are engaged by both indigenous and foreign carriers operating in the country.

Meggison said some domestic carriers have done well and are engaging some of the pilots.

He said there should be an enabling policy that should check the influx of foreign pilots and engineers by foreign carriers.

Meggison said there are over 1,000 foreign pilots engaged by both local and foreign registered airplane flying in Nigeria.

He stated that apart from the 1,000 foreign pilots, there are over 500 foreign aircraft engineers employed in the country.

According to him, “The government should compel foreign carriers to set up a line station for aircraft maintenance in the country and employ local engineers to assist in turning around the growth of the sector.

“They should look into other avenues also, if policies are not put in place the challenge of unemployment of pilots and engineers may not be resolved as soon as possible. It is shameful that Nigerian licensed youth pilots have become cab drivers, pure water sellers to make ends meet. This is totally unacceptable.”

He explained that over the years, the aviation industry has grown, stressing that about six years ago, the number of private jets has increased from 20 to 150, with number of commercial airplanes grown from 20 to 100, which he regretted has not reflected to the employment of Nigerian youths, who are trained as pilots.

He said it was time the Federal Government implemented the local content policies in the aviation sector to create room for the employment of indigenous professionals, as is the practice in most parts of the world.

Meggison cited examples from India, Cameroon, Russia and Egypt where policies exists that prescribes that on every airplane cockpit there must be a national passport holder.

Airline operators have called on the Federal Government to put in place a proactive policy that would address the projected 500 Nigerian licensed pilots that are unemployed.

There are indications that the Federal Government may have concluded plans to look into the high turn-over of pilots without jobs; a situation that has made so many of them take to menial jobs outside the sector.

Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Noggie Meggison lamented the number of unemployed pilots, adding that the number is increasing from the current 200 to an astronomical number when the over 100 student pilots’ sent to Jordan by the Kano State government would graduate later this year.

This is in addition to the 52 youths trained under the Federal Government Amnesty programme as well as the fresh batches 100 graduating from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), and the 40 from International Aviation College (IAC), in Ilorin, Kwara State.

He equally called on the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari to seriously focus his attention on the aviation industry and cause the removal of Value Added Tax ( VAT) on air transportation as other modes of transportation including foreign airline operating in and out of Nigeria are not paying VAT.

Meggison said unless something fast is done, such development constitutes a disincentive to the growth and development of the Nigerian aviation industry.

He further disclosed that over 400 Nigeria licensed aircraft engineers are also out of job, urging the Federal Government to put in place an employment policy that would ensure these aviation professionals are engaged by both indigenous and foreign carriers operating in the country.

Meggison said some domestic carriers have done well and are engaging some of the pilots.

He said there should be an enabling policy that should check the influx of foreign pilots and engineers by foreign carriers.

Meggison said there are over 1,000 foreign pilots engaged by both local and foreign registered airplane flying in Nigeria.

He stated that apart from the 1,000 foreign pilots, there are over 500 foreign aircraft engineers employed in the country.

According to him, “The government should compel foreign carriers to set up a line station for aircraft maintenance in the country and employ local engineers to assist in turning around the growth of the sector.

“They should look into other avenues also, if policies are not put in place the challenge of unemployment of pilots and engineers may not be resolved as soon as possible. It is shameful that Nigerian licensed youth pilots have become cab drivers, pure water sellers to make ends meet. This is totally unacceptable.”

He explained that over the years, the aviation industry has grown, stressing that about six years ago, the number of private jets has increased from 20 to 150, with number of commercial airplanes grown from 20 to 100, which he regretted has not reflected to the employment of Nigerian youths, who are trained as pilots.

He said it was time the Federal Government implemented the local content policies in the aviation sector to create room for the employment of indigenous professionals, as is the practice in most parts of the world.

Meggison cited examples from India, Cameroon, Russia and Egypt where policies exists that prescribes that on every airplane cockpit there must be a national passport holder.

 

source NTM

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