BusinessDay

Stakeholders ask FG to review BASA to support domestic airlines in Nigeria

Stakeholders in the aviation section sector have again called on the Federal Government review its bilateral air service agreements (BASAs) it signed with foreign countries to make them reciprocal and support the growth of Nigerian airlines, aviation stakeholders said yesterday.
They said government must wake up from its slumber and come up with sustainable policy frameworks to grow the aviation sector.
Gabriel Olowo, President of Aviation Roundtable and Safety Initiative, said Nigeria needs a stable legal and regulatory frameworks to grow the industry.
They spoke at the 23rd Annual Conference and Award ceremony organized by the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos, on Wednesday.
The conference chaired by Muneer Bankole, the Managing Director/CEO of Med-View Airline,  had as its theme, “Boosting Aviation Investment through Policy”.
Olowo decried the multiple entry points for foreign airlines, adding that it as “disastrous and deliberate annihilation of the domestic market.”
He said a situation where some airlines fly to multiple airports in Nigeria without any Nigerian airline reciprocating is “a negative balance of trade.”
“The essence of regulation is not only about safety. We have failed with economic regulations. This is a major weakness,” he said.
Nick Fadugba, President of African Airlines Association,  said a situation where 90 per cent of the Nigerian market was controlled by non-Nigerian airline “is damaging to the economy.”
“Nigeria needs to urgently review its BASA policy. An air route is like an oil bloc. You don’t just give it out without something in return, ” he added.
He said Nigeria deserves a national carrier with minority government shareholding and it must be done transparently and skilfully with knowledgeable individuals.
Allen Onyema, chairman of Air Peace,  said the government has no option but to support the Nigerian airlines to thrive and protect jobs of thousands of Nigerians in their employ.
 In attendance were Managing Directors of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu and Capt. Muhammed Abdulsalam respectively.
Also in attendance were Allen Onyema,  Chairman/CEO of Air Peace,  Roland Iyayi, managing Director, Top Brass Airline, Afzal Parambil, country manager of Emirates, Firiehiewot Mekonne,
Country Manager, Ethiopian Airlines,  among others.

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