Captain Musa Nuhu is the Director-Basic of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). On this interview, he outlined the attraction of the Nigerian Aviation sector to buyers, how the sector can sort out foreign exchange shortage and updates on Azman Airline’s operations.
Opposite to what’s occurring in different climes, extra airways have been flying in Nigeria within the final 4 months. How would you assess the Aviation sector?
There’s a big market right here. The Nigerian market is just not mature sufficient. There’s a big alternative for the Nigerian market to develop.
That’s the reason you see that many airways are arising within the nation. We now have Inexperienced Africa Airways, NG Eagle and so many different airways arising. I’m certain that Inexperienced Africa Airways, NG Eagle are the following to fly. The market is there. It’s economics.
Sadly, due to the situation of the roads, lots of people desire flying by air. So, the demand is rising and that’s the reason you see many airways rising.
I can let you know that out of the 9 million which are stated to be travelling inside Nigeria, solely most likely a million individuals are flying often. So, possibly just one or two million individuals journey in Nigeria, out of a inhabitants of 200 million. It’s nonetheless a virgin market. If we uphold our insurance policies and methods, we are going to make a pleasant surroundings of the business and it’ll develop.
What position will MRO play in creating such a pleasant surroundings?
You already know airways go to Europe for upkeep, however when we now have MRO, it creates employment. You simply roll in your plane and do your upkeep in there in Naira.
You don’t need to go to CBN on the lookout for $100,000. It takes you six to seven biddings and your plane is on floor for 2 months while you’re ready for cash.
So these are a part of the processes and methods which are being put collectively to assist the business develop.
What are you doing to develop Basic Aviation in Nigeria?
Truthfully, if you discuss Basic Aviation, you touched one thing that’s near my coronary heart. Basic Aviation is the fundamentals of any profitable aviation business.
A profitable aviation business in any nation has good Basic Aviation. It gives the individuals with the fundamentals resembling skilled pilots. Airways present skilled administration workers and engineers.
So, when the airways make use of them, it prices them much less to coach them as a result of they have already got some degree of expertise not direct from flying college.
How are you selling its coverage?
We now have the Civil Aviation Act earlier than the Nationwide Meeting. Hopefully, will probably be handed into regulation quickly.
So, as soon as that’s finished, and we all know what the brand new NCAA mandate is, we are going to do a stakeholders assembly for a evaluation of our rules. I believe we have to de-clutter and unbundle our rules in order that the necessities for Basic Aviation is completely different from the necessities for the airways.
They aren’t the identical threat so we have to unbundle these rules. Basic Aviation could possibly be Chartered flights, agric spraying, small tourism plane, ambulance and others.
There are such a lot of areas of Basic Aviation, however proper now, rules are bundled. Any individual flying a company and small airplane carrying 10 individuals and you might be asking for a similar necessities from a Boeing 777 going to Dubai? It doesn’t make sense. After we unbundle these rules, we consider it will stimulate the Basic Aviation a part of the business.
And when that’s finished, all these extra pilots and the those who don’t have jobs might be absorbed. They are going to get skilled and transfer on to the larger airline business. Basic Aviation could be very crucial.
Are you able to say Nigerian airways are benefitting from the Cape City Conference a few decade later?
Not very effectively, no. As a result of we now have circumstances the place individuals go and lease plane and convey them into Nigeria. They don’t pay they usually don’t need to launch the plane. So, it creates a nasty repute for the Nigerian market.
That’s the reason I let you know, if you do issues, it’s not only one particular person however the repute of your entire nation that’s at stake. Since I got here on board, I’ve efficiently handled three circumstances with Cape City Conference. There was an airline that took some engines however didn’t need to return them. We fought for it. There was a helicopter that was seized, we fought for it they usually launched it.
There was an plane that we let go of. If we didn’t do this, individuals wouldn’t really feel protected permitting their tools into our nation and even after they do, it’s at such an exorbitant charge that any revenue the operator hoped to achieve is wiped off.
Do we now have sufficient security inspectors to examine operations?
We definitely wouldn’t have sufficient inspectors. It is a matter that we mentioned once we had a gathering with the Ministry.
There are points with the situation of service particularly within the space of remuneration. I can’t unilaterally tackle that subject. We now have paperwork from the wage and wages fee. We met the Chairman and he confirmed they’re engaged on it. That may resolve the difficulty within the brief time period, however I’m additionally taking a look at longer-term options.
What is going on now is just not solely a Nigerian subject. It’s a international subject that impacts even Europe and America as a result of the federal government can’t pay the identical charges because the airways provide.
However, we are able to put sure situations in place to make it enticing for individuals, pre-retirement, who will come right here and spend 10 to fifteen years of their lively profession life, moderately than attracting solely retirees from airways.
I’m not in opposition to hiring people who find themselves retired as a result of they’ve sure experiences that we’d like. Nevertheless, there ought to be a right combination of younger individuals who will develop within the system and spend longer time than individuals who can’t provide greater than 5 further years as a result of they’d retired from lively service. The excessive turnover charge of older retirees impacts the continuity of the system and makes it inefficient due to the sources spent to coach them as effectively.
I’ll moderately have the proper mixture of the expert aged staff and the younger upcoming ones and that is one thing we’re already working in the direction of.
Nigerian airways previously few months have elevated airfares by as a lot as 100%, many attributing the rise to forest shortage. What’s the NCAA doing concerning the foreign exchange points?
The Minister has been to the CBN and he’s doing what he can, however due to the shortage of foreign exchange, the federal government has its personal coverage on prioritisation.
The Minister has been combating for the airways however we will help ourselves by supporting the MROs that the federal government is working in the direction of as it would considerably scale back the quantity of foreign exchange airways would want; thus lowering foreign exchange outflow and in addition creating jobs. It will be a double win for the nation.
For the fares, it has to do with the economics of demand and provide. Don’t overlook due to this foreign exchange problem, airways aren’t working their fleet at full capability. If one of many airways is out of the system, you attempt to fill that hole. That may put further calls for on the opposite routes.
Can’t airways re-strategise by utilizing more cost effective plane for enterprise?
Already, there’s a paradigm shift. Persons are starting to grasp you’ll be able to’t use Boeing 737 plane for brief flights. I can see Air Peace has received an E-195, and he plans to exchange all of the B737 in the long run. United Nigeria is utilizing Embraer 145. Inexperienced Africa is utilizing ATR 42, 72.
There may be one which has began processing its paperwork; he desires to make use of Embraer 145. Chanchangi desires to come back again they usually need to use ATR. The demand is there. The pondering is altering as a result of this B737 enterprise is just not working for us. It’ll take some time however it’s a optimistic change within the business.
What’s the replace on the Azman operations?
I have to let you know the response we had from Azman has been very encouraging and really optimistic. Now they perceive it’s even higher for them to enhance their enterprise mannequin. I’ve seen a shift and I can assure you that by the point Azman complies with all that we requested, the general public will see a distinct Azman airline.
That’s our function. We aren’t right here to kill anyone or to wreck any airline, however to information them to function safely, effectively and to supply the required providers to the travelling public. I simply acquired a really spectacular response from them regarding what they’ve finished. We’re going to begin critical coaching for his or her individuals subsequent week.
The place we discover gaps, they’ve already began using individuals and they’re actually working and cooperating. Truthfully, I’m very completely happy and really feel very relieved at their response to us.