Chinazor Megbolu |
An Aviation Instructor, Engr. Augustine Nwabuokei, has claimed that indigenous airline operators in Nigeria loses over N600 billion annually to foreign organisations on maintenance culture.
In a chat with him via internet on Tuesday, he said: “Over N600 billion is spent annually by our local airlines to carry out maintenance jobs abroad and this has resulted to huge capital flights.
“Airline operators spend additional 20-30 per cent to carry out this maintenance jobs abroad, which would not have been necessary if the jobs were done here in Nigeria.
“If the job is scheduled to take up to four weeks for instance, they end up spending additional two weeks most times because they may get there and meet a queue and remain grounded”.
Nwabuokei also noted that the extra period of waiting results to huge loss of revenue because aircraft only generates income when carrying persengers.
According to him; “the operators earn in Naira and pay for maintenance work in Dollars while abroad.
“Sourcing for dollar is not easy for them”.
Nwabuokei, who is a Pilot and Aeronautical Engineer, is scheduled to speak on importance of Building Aircraft Maintenance Hanger in Nigeria in a Zoom Conference organised by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on August 22, 2020.
He further stressed that a minimum of two pilots and six maintenance Engineers must join the aircraft to travel abroad.
“Logistics costs for their feeding and accomodation is quite huge. This would have been saved if the job was done in Nigeria,” he said.
He also averred that for a boeing 737 traveling to Germany for maintenance for instance, it will cost over N4 million worth of fuel to and fro, buttressing that such cost would have been saved if it was carried out in Nigeria.
On building such a hanger in Nigeria, he explained it will create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly.
Additionally, the Dubai based Pilot noted that the market is huge since Nigeria is currently having over 300 registered aircrafts with Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Nwabuokei, however, posited that operators will patronise the maintenance company, adding that at the moment, there’s no such thing in the entire West and Central African countries.
“The maintenance hangers we have only carry out minor maintenance jobs. The detailed jobs must be flown abroad,” Nwabuokei said.
Moreover, he stated that the Webinar would be an avenue to address the importance of building an aircraft repair overhaul in the country.
“It’s about the importance of building an aircraft maintenance repair overhaul facility in Nigeria. It’s a positive economic impact on the Nigerian Aviation Industry.
“Air transportation industry in Nigeria has witnessed evolve, operate and collapse syndrome since the eighties because of the absence of sustenable aircraft maintenance hanger, where heavy duty maintenance works are carried out,” he said.
© 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.