Capt. Noggie Meggisson of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), has advised the Federal government to create jobs in the aviation sector for unemployed Nigerians.
Meggisson stated that the aviation sector has a lot of potentials that are yet to be maximised by the Federal Government.
This was made known on the sidelines of the ongoing International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) World Aviation Forum (IWAF).
Meggisson said, “Today, statistics show that 60 percent of Nigerians are below the age of 27; are we creating jobs for them?”
“Today, we have 400 pilots unemployed; are we creating jobs for them?”
“Today, we have thousands of graduates and we need to create jobs for them.’’
He also added that the event which was hosted in Nigeria as against the usual custom of taking it to ICAO headquarters in Montreal, Canada, was a big plus to the country.
“It is something to be joyful about. It is the first of its kind and shows that Nigeria has been recognised, it is left for us now to take our position.”
“The investors should come and see by themselves that the potential in Nigeria is huge. The world has come in now and it is left for us to push and showcase what we have.”
“For the world to agree to come to Nigeria, it is obvious that we are a powerhouse.”
During the event, there was a call from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to increase the number of aircraft required for the issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to a minimum of 20 aircraft which was not upheld by Meggisson.
He stressed that those demanding the increase should also be bold enough to come and invest in the airline business.
“They should come and invest their monies into the business.”
‘’People that are in the field already should be lauded for being able to operate in these hard times, especially with the interest rate at 26 percent.”
“So, we should be given kudos and not side distractions because we don’t even have the routes to accommodate every airline having 20 aircraft.”
“The investors in aviation have worked hard and put Nigeria first because they believe in the country. They want to create jobs and make an economic impact.”
The AON president advised the government to review Nigeria’s Bi-lateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) and limit entry points for foreign airlines.
“Ethiopian Airlines, for example, comes into Nigeria in five points, but how many points do our airlines go into other countries.
“Unfortunately, there is no benefit for us as a country because most of the foreign airlines don’t even employ Nigerians.”