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National Carrier: Chidoka Blames Failure On Absence Of Willing Technical Partners

The out-going Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has said that the Federal Government failed to re-establish a national carrier in 2011 because the chosen airline could not source for partners as well as resolve issues bordering on funding mechanism and equity holding,

The development came just as he called on the incoming government to look into the Air Marshal Paul Dike ( rtd) 2006 committee report on the Aviation Sector .

The minister said the Paul Dike report should be revisited because it outlined recommendations on the challenges of the aviation sector .

Chidoka said Aero Airlines , which has been acquired by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria ( AMCON) with government having majority equity holding did not possess the capacity to qualify as a national carrier .

According to the minister, as much as the country desired to float a national carrier the airline could not meet the template set for its establishment .

Speaking on Monday at a stakeholders forum where he gave a scorecard of his eight months tenure Chidoka said government is still poised to deliver a national carrier provided the domestic airlines to be selected have corporate governance, adequate fleet size , sizeable operational coverage , restructured ownership , route development plan , employee size as well possessing international certification .

He said the proposed national carrier should not run as a private company solely owned by one individual but must have institutional investors , technical expertise and other parameters .

The minister said growth in the aviation sector has been stunted in the past decades due to absence of a robust master plan that would form the architecture of implementation .

He canvassed setting up of airport management companies from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN ) to enable them run efficiently like other airport groups across.

Chidoka canvassed transparency in the pursuit of the aerotropolis project , which he said could be fine tuned if FAAN is given free hand to choose companies that it will work with.

The minister urged contractors who handled airport remodelling projects to refund money for jobs that have not been executed saying that those who have collected money for projects not executed will answer questions .

He decried the huge indebtedness to aviation agencies by airlines and concessionaires saying that if a robust revenue automation system is put in place the capacity of the agencies would be enhanced .

He said FAAN would not move forward until the gap of N30 billion incurred in funding staff pension liabilities is addressed.

“I think it is important for the incoming government to look into the Paul Dike Report of 2006, which outlined solutions to the many problems of the aviation sector . Successive government have not used the report . This lack of institutional memory is part of the problems of the sector . It not just that there are changes , there is need for a policy framework to drive the development of the sector. The problem in the sector is absence of a funding model and cost saving structure on key infrastructure,” Chidoka said.

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