ABUJA- The Federal Government has been accused of creating unnecessary competition for Nigerian airlines by allowing foreign airlines access to multiple entry points in the country.
The government is also advised to set up a leasing company for the indigenous airlines in a bid to grow and build the carriers, while also reducing capital flight out of the country through aircraft leasing.
Capt. David Olubadewo, Managing Director, Airline Management Support Limited (AMSL), the supplier of Dunlop tyres for aircraft, stated these in an interview with Nairametrics in Lagos.
Olubadewo insisted that the airlines require the support of the government to remain in business and be competitive.
He lamented that the Nigerian airlines are not valued by the government, which, unfortunately, lead to their early cessation of operations.
Olubadewo, however, advised the government to build and protect the airlines through policies from foreign airlines, maintaining that this could only be done by the government.
According to him, the establishment of a leasing company for the operators would be a win-win situation for both parties, stressing that this would boost the economy.
He said, “There is no level playing field for the operators and the foreign exchange is not also easily accessible by the operators. Our government sells Nigerian-owned airlines cheaply to other countries that own airlines.”
Government creates unnecessary competition on the routes Nigerian airlines ought to develop in the name of demand and supply.
They do not value domestic airlines, meanwhile, we’re about the best in the world.
“Somebody needs to put rules and regulations on the ground to protect the airlines. That is how it is done globally also, they should set up a leasing company to lease aircraft to airlines in Nigeria because we need to grow and build our airlines.
“This would even be a win-win situation because it boosts both the airlines and the economy as the government gradually recoups the money it spent on the acquisition of the aircraft.”
He urged the government to take a cue from China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which he said protected their carriers to become the biggest aviation market in the world.
Olubadewo explained that unlike in the past when the airlines deployed the wrong equipment to routes, the operators now use the right aircraft for the various routes they fly into, but said lack of adequate funds denied their proper use of aircraft to beef up their operations.
Besides, he lauded the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for easing the duties for the airlines to be able to import spare parts for their equipment, especially for Aircraft on Ground (AOG).
“I think the customs are not too bad in Nigeria, no matter what you may say, they are not too bad. We go to other West African countries, we see what they do, and we see what customs do in the United Kingdom because in the UK you have something called route one.
“If anything goes through route one you have to wait, you have no choice. It is waiting until it is out. But Nigerian Customs, they are not too bad,” he said.
The company he said services about 90 per cent of the indigenous carriers with the supply of tyres and also acts as a reseller, and distributor for Eastman turbine oil used for aircraft.