Stop blaming govt for profit decline, Sirika tells airlines

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has cautioned members of the Airlines Operators of Nigeria, against accusing his ministry and aviation regulatory agencies for the unfavourable operating environment and decline in their profits.

Sirika gave the caution at the Senate during the closing session of a three-day public hearing on the six executive bills to restructure the aviation sector.

The minister was reacting to claims by the AON that unfavourable business environment was caused by poor government policies as they affect the sector.

The Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Overland Airways, Captain Edward Boyo, had in his presentation held the aviation regulatory agencies responsible for the woes of the operators.

Boyo said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency was charging exorbitant fees.

He said undue taxation by NCAA in connivance with the Ministry of Aviation was responsible for high aviation fare while the agency was indifferent to standards and efficiency.

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He warned that the local airlines were victims of obsolete legislation and further sought for protection of the parliament through positive legislations to prevent local airlines operators from going into extinction.

The aviation minister however attributed the decline in fortunes of the indigenous airline operators to poor capital outlay, business plans and governance structure.

He said, “The airports must be run for profit, not charity.

“To explain why the airlines are failing are business plans and failure of their CEOs; you don’t blame their inefficiency on us.”

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