Stakeholders want aircraft maintenance facility in Nigeria
Stakeholders in the aviation sector have re-emphasised the need for Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facilities in Nigeria, stressing that, the country and domestic carriers lose a lot of revenue by going abroad.
According to reports, local airlines are expected to spend over N560 billion for the maintenance cost of over 350 aircraft that are expected to go for both C and D checks this year.
Speaking at a business aviation conference at the weekend in Lagos, the former Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Harold Demuren said Nigeria is over-ripe to have such facility, noting that if 40 per cent of the funds spent on the remodelling of airport facilities in the last few years were deployed by government to establish the facility, it would have been valuable for the development of aviation in the country.
He noted that the country loses huge resources maintaining aircraft overseas and besides the economic loss, Nigerian trained aircraft engineers cannot secure jobs locally, and to become the West African hub, the country must have the MRO facility.
Also speaking at the conference, the Managing Director/CEO of Toucan Aviation Support Services, Achuzie Ezenagu called on the federal government to focus on the development of aviation in Nigeria as catalyst to the nation’s economic development.
He also noted that the MRO facility would safe the country huge financial resources, help to train and employ indigenous aircraft engineers, make aircraft checks cost effective for Nigerian airlines and reinforce Nigeria as a hub in West Africa.
However, he observed that establishing an MRO in the country would face challenges, noting that it would be costly because Nigeria does not have the necessary infrastructure to facilitate it, adding that it needs the cooperation of government and industry stakeholders to make its establishment possible.
The Nigerian business aviation conference, which is held yearly, is about the development of business aviation, which includes private charter services, cargo operations and others and how they help as catalyst to the nation’s economic development.
Furthermore, Ezenagu pointed that Nigeria needs to focus more on aviation development because it is the fulcrum of the nation’s development.
His words: “We should make the airport more accessible and make them more available.