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Airline operators want Sirika to use aviation to create jobs

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Wednesday urged the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, to use aviation to create jobs for…

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) on Wednesday urged the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, to use aviation to create jobs for youths in the country.

The President of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“He should use aviation to create employment for our youths. We have over 500 pilots who are unemployed. We have thousands of unemployed engineers too.

“Aviation can easily generate 100,000 support services. So, he should use aviation to catapult employment in the country,’’ Meggison said.

He also advised Sirika to review the policies governing aviation in Nigeria and ensure that they were geared toward economic growth and contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

“Right now, we can see that there is decline in our oil revenue. So, they should concentrate on aviation so that it can generate income.

“This can be achieved when the right policies are put in place by the government,’’ the AON president said.

Meggison commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a professional to head the industry, expressing optimism that the minister would bring his wealth of experience to bear in discharging his responsibilities.

He said: “We are happy that we are getting one of us, who is a pilot coming into the industry to head it.

So, we are hoping that he will bring professionalism to the industry. We will support him and wish him the best’’.

On the merger of the aviation ministry with its transport counterpart, Meggison said the move became necessary due to past abuses and the exigency of the present situation in the country.

He said: “If you look at Nigeria as at today, with our economic situation, if the government is merging ministries, it is a welcome idea.

“I am sure government must have thought about it before rolling out its plans. So, it is maybe trying to maximise output with our limited resources.

“In the past, the head of parastatals were always in Abuja answering to the ministry of aviation but without that board now, hopefully the parastatals will have freer time to concentrate’’. (NAN)

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