Lagos - Capt. Roland Iyayi, a former
Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), on Friday
said airlines operating in the country were in destructive competition.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Iyayi made the
assertion while speaking at a conference on ``90 Years of Aviation in Nigeria’’
The conference was part of activities to mark the first
flight in Nigeria which flew from Cairo to Kano on Nov. 1, 1925.
He said the airlines had not been able to maximise the huge
potential of the aviation sector in generating employment and contributing to
the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Iyayi, who is the Managing Director of Topbrass Aviaton,
said Nigeria currently boasts of 15 million travelling passengers out of a
population of 170 million which accounts for only 10 per cent.
According to him, out of the 26 airports in the country,
80.2 per cent of the total traffic passes through the Abuja, Lagos and Port
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"I scarcely see any major airline in the country today that
will survive the next three years except that there is a major injection of
"The promoters of airlines don't take time to study the
market. So, they need to think outside the box and find new ways to make the
industry to grow,’’ he said.
Iyayi also advised the government to enact policies that
would support the growth of the sector, including the establishment of a strong
national carrier like the defunct Nigerian Airways.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman, said the authority was strengthening its
regional offices to effectively perform its oversight functions.
"I think in 90 years, Nigeria aviation has contributed
immensely to the GDP but we can do better,’’ Usman said.
The director-general who was represented by the NCAA’s
Director of Administration, Mr Aba Ejembi, however, said Nigerians should be
dissuaded from seeing air travelling as an elitist thing.
On his part, Capt. Nogie Meggison, President, Airline
Operators of Nigeria (AON), urged the government to provide infrastructure and
enabling environment for the aviation sector to grow.
Meggison said the aviation sector was only contributing four
per cent to the country’s GDP, while that of Ethiopia was contributing 26 per