The Founder and Executive Director, Centre for Aviation Safety and Research (CASR), Engr. Shery Kyari, wants the Federal Government to urgently set up a committee to look into the establishment of a national maintenance hangar in the country.
He made the call in a statement titled, “The Need to Have an Independent Committee for a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facility” made available to journalists in Lagos.
He explained that the proposed MRO would be conceptualised to service all or most of the aircraft currently operating and those that would in future, operate in Nigeria, especially commercial airplanes in the country and beyond.
Kyari stated that while CASR commended the new national airline being proposed, the centre believe MRO project should receive a similar or even more important attention than the national carrier.
Kyari, who is also an aircraft maintenance engineer, said that the reason MRO should be given greater attention was based on the fact that a well established maintenance facility in the country apart from going beyond meeting the needs of the industry, would also provide aviation the needed foundation for aviation manufacturing, with the ultimate aim of producing its own brand of airplanes.
He added that having an MRO would also provide massive employment compared to the jobs the proposed national airline would provide.
“Undoubtedly, Nigeria should take advantage of the absence of this facility within the West African region and establish one concomitantly with the new airline,” he advised.
Speaking further, the Founder of CASR pointed out that such huge project would also increase the current paltry contribution to the nation’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) from the less than five percent to a higher percentage.
He advised the Federal Government to task the proposed committee to look at the ownership, scope, funding and all others associated with the establishment of an MRO.
To buttress his point, he cited Mauritius, a country with a population of about 1.2 million as one of the countries in Africa with such huge facilities that cater for different sizes of airplanes all over the world and that it is making money for the country.
Nigeria, he stated, should match its growing fleet of airplanes with an equal MRO to stop the drift of huge capital to other countries.
He, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the attempt to further reposition the aviation industry to create growth and development by directing the Permanent Secretary of the Aviation Ministry, Mrs. Binta Bello to expedite action on the possibility of establishing a new national carrier.
This directive by Mr. President, he stated, had led to the setting up a committee that had already started sitting
According to him, “His constitution of the Committee on the new national carrier will provide the country with a platform for diplomatic negotiation from a position of strength and to support current domestic airlines with opportunities to stabilize their operations.”
He continued, “The new carrier will, among other things, help in reducing the current high capital flight, provide employment for many young people in aviation and start a developmental revolution in the aviation sector. This will help Nigeria to catch up with other nations.
Source : Independent