Bank of Aviation now Needed in Nigeria – Prof Kila

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CEM REPORT | Experts in the aviation industry has found the establishment of Bank of Aviation an urgent necessity as the industry faces myriad of challenges impacting the operational capacity and liquidity of the various airlines.

This assertion was made Thursday at the 26th Conference themed ‘Sunset Airports: Economic & Safety Implications,’ held in Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja by the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondence

Prof Anthony Kila who delivered the keynote lecture at the event, posited that finance is a major challenge confronting the aviation industry which is responsible for the shortage of aviation fuel, human capital and operational capability.

Prof Kila is the Director of the Center for International Advanced and Professional Studies. He emphasized that ability to operate sunset airports majorly rest on affordability having raised the questions; can we afford it? Is there enough market? What are the costs?

He however alluded to the fact that the operators in aviation are not paupers and that they can take risk. But the current economic condition in the country where the dollar is exchanging for above N700 constrains the capacity of the operators.

Prof Kila therefore proposed a bank dedicated to the Aviation Industry, set up and operated by stakeholders who understand the business of aviation.

“I proposed today that it is time we start thinking of a Bank of Aviation. A bank that is dedicated to the proper management and provision of funds, and meet products for the aviation market.

“The problem of maintenance of equipment, acquisition of innovation fuel, development of human capital, deployment of Global Distribution Systems; this are global problems that require ideas but all about money”; Kila said.

[READ ALSO] Dollar Availability Responsible for Aviation Fuel Hike

He charged the Ministry of Aviation and the Ministry of Finance to work with Central Bank of Nigeria to direct attention towards making the required currency accessible, affordable and available

He said; “The ministry of aviation in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, needs to work with the central bank, to make a case for Aviation not to spoon-feed them, but to facilitate their ambition and not because it’s a favor to private individuals but because it’s a duty to the collective good that, we make sure that the currency for aviation is accessible, is affordable and is available to those that need it.”

He further charged operators in the aviation industry to think outside the box, to turn the challenges in the industry into great opportunities.

He said “We have to understand that with right thinking, solid collaboration, rewarding and sustaining partnership, it is possible to turn the challenges of Nigerian Invasion into big opportunities; the opportunities to maintain aircrafts, the opportunities to train human capital, the opportunity to deploy the system that is needed; I call them opportunity but they are challenge is now.

But to get the ideas to develop the vision to turn those challenges into opportunities, operators in the aviation industry need to go beyond scheduling flights, selling tickets and distributing it.”

Earlier, the President of (LAAC) Olusegun Koiki set the tone for the day’s deliberation in his welcome address by directing minds to the recent economic issues facing the industry and the country

“You will agree with me that in recent months, the various players in the Nigeria’s aviation industry, especially airlines, airport operators, oil marketers, ground handlers, catering services and all safety stakeholders have had to contend with a mirage of challenges, which have all combined to build a huge obstruction of the desired and projected revenue bottom-line for all stakeholders.

“To be specific, Nigeria’s entire economy has, within the last one year, been evidently been negatively impacted by the challenges of the aviation sector related to airport operations.

“Aviation as a vital segment of Nigeria’s economy does not operate in isolation. Our activities as players significantly affect individual lives and allied businesses outside the industry. Therefore, it is important that in the execution of our airport activities and plans, we incorporate considerations for air travellers’ interests and the interest of other airport users. Both government and private business concerns should in policy formulation, also be concerned about the economic interest of airlines, handlers and other service providers.

“A situation whereby a litre of Jet A1 goes as high as N800 is ridiculous. A situation where a dollar is now over N600 in the alternate market because that is the only avenue where business organisations now run to, to get the currency for operations is indefensible. Though our government attributes these challenges to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, but, the League reiterates that our investors are vulnerable in their operations and cannot compete with the current situation”; Koiki said

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