By Raphael Ekpang
The Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi has revealed that challenges confronting Aviation industry in Nigeria were so huge that it made it too dangerous and risky to fly.
The senator representing Kogi West at the senate disclosed this on Monday while briefing newsmen in Abuja. He noted that the Aviation sector was strategic as well as instrumental to the socio-economic growth of nations, but added that what Nigeria has today was nothing short of death in the Air, save for Federal Government’s intervention.
According to him, public hearings and budget defence which took place last week further brought aviation challenges to fore that needed immediate intervention from the Federal Government.
“It is very important to note that the aviation sector is regarded as a strategic industry, not only for its potential for economic growth, but also its crucial role in national development and regional integration i.e. facilitates international trade by providing a fast transportation network.
“We particularly held interactions with Air line Operators and a few important factors came to fore. One of which is that the steps needed to bring about resuscitation and sustainability in the aviation industry is far beyond the capacity of the airline operators.
“It will indeed require executive orders which must be adhered to.
The lawmaker complained that airline operators couldn’t clear imported spare parts of their planes, thereby causing devastation amid high cost of fuel and maintenance of crafts.
Senator Adeyemi called on the Federal Government to grant waiver on imported spare parts and increase N4 billion intervention funds, adding that smaller countries like Senegal and others have robustly intervened in their aviation sectors.
“The custom department has not complied with the executive order to waive any form of taxation on importation of spare parts and commercial aircrafts.
“It has been discovered that there are still multiple forms of taxation persisting.”
He further stated that the plight of airline operators was further compounded by non compliance of Executive orders as well as their inability to access foreign exchange.