Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Solving the aviation problem

The aviation sector most clearly indicates how far Nigeria is from global standards, and how weak and tired the excuse of the 'Nigerian factor' has become. What is needed are solutions, but first of all, what is needed is thought leadership.

The people to provide the thought and then the solutions are already out there. For instance, Chippla's blog. Chippla evidently has a keen interest in and knowledge of aviation. Why not bring him in as a consultant? Shango/Fred flies light aircraft, and again has a strong interest in Nigeria. Why not bring him in? There must be many many people out there who have the expertise and knowledge to start to genuinely solve the problem for good. They should be brought in to the loop. Then, you need a strong Ministerial leader - a Rufai or Ribadu type who can bulldoze what needs to be bulldozed and construct what needs to be constructed. Borisade clearly is not the man for the job - with too many deaths on his watch.

As usual in Nigeria, the problem-solving talent is out there. The problem is not know-how, it is that the people in power do not want to hire the know-how: the status quo is too materially beneficial for them.


Anonymous,  11:45 am  

obviously you have not read some of fred's old posts. The guy hates Nigeria and Nigerians. In fact, I was quite shocked to find out that he was Shango. I can't quite reconcile his activeness on Naijablog with his position with respect to Nigeria.

Anonymous,  2:59 pm  

And can you blame me when there's so much to hate about Nigeria? Starting for example, with the fact that my mother died needlessly because there were no doctors at a hospital. Imagine that: NO. DOCTORS. AT. A. HOSPITAL. Next thing you know, you can't find lawyers in a court or pilots in aircraft.

That place is broken.

I hope I continue to shock you, anonymous coward, because that's what I'm in business to do; besides, I like needling Jeremy, my favorite socialist.

Dotun 4:14 pm  

i think part of the problem has to do with Nigerian over-dependence on 'God'. its appaling, imagine what the pilot said when he was warned'........God is in control' and Fani-Kayode said the same thing on CNN '....may God not allow this to happen again' I tried to to talk about this in my recent post. The question im still asking is 'Who is employing these clowns?

Jeremy 5:10 pm  

As I've just commented on your blog Brosdee - Nigerian politicians all too cynically abuse Christianity as a cover for their enormous failings.

Its going to take a full-on critical assault-from-the-inside by Christians to demand action, accountability and responsibility by those who use and abuse God's name in Nigeria.

The mushroom churches are a huge business. But what exactly are they doing to create a better Nigeria? Are they not ultimately working in some kind of collusion with the politicians, to keep people doped-up with God?

Awodi Hassan,  5:15 pm  

You are right on target Dotun. We always reduce everything to "God" even though we are always the direct cause of our failures!

Even our personal laziness is attributed to "God"! It is the usual excuse we give for our incompetence. At this rate, I think "God" should create a special department for Nigeria prayers.

We really need to get out of this "God" mentality thing and be responsible for our actions.

MsMak,  8:32 pm  

There are so, so many facets to the problem of air safety plaguing the aviation industry in Nigeria, you cannot even begin to imagine. My father was an international pilot with Nigeria Airways for about 30 years before he retired. And living i grew up in a neighborhood with other Airways staff and thier families, so we the children heard these things discussed over the dinner table and in the living room all the time.

It is a disgrace! In 1989, i remember Nigeria Airways had a fleet of 20-something aircraft. I believe Bamfa was the MD then. By 1994 it had been reduced to 2. The rest is history...

Management: The foremost, and in my opinion, biggest problem is that of mismanagement. For years the military government (and now the civilian one) have continued to impose ill-qualified people to head the ministry and the now-defunct Nigeria Airways. Put people in there who have experience in aviation industry.

Lax Regulation: There is the need for serious regulatory oversight and self-policing. We should not wait for aircrashes to monitor airline's equipment standards, pilot experience, screening new entrants, etc. And ther should be serious fines and jail times to back it up!

Pilot Training: Is the Aviation school in Zaria still open? Do they even have any aircraft to train with? Many of the newer pilots dont have a lot of experience. They are supposed to go on simulator training every 6 months or so, but i am sure many airlines dont follow this in order to cut costs... And again, who is verifying the documentation and flight experience of these foreign pilots with Eastern European accents"?

Poor Equipment: 25-30 Year old planes, poor or next-to-no maintenance, corrupt staff who sell back up engines, outdated radars, badly maintained airports and facilities, old and non-working fire fighting equipment (and in the rare cases that they work, no water/ foam to fill them, no electricity and therefore badly lit or darkened runways, roadside mechanics routinely brought in to fix aircraft problems etc, etc...I could go on and on...

Corruption: the all-encompassing tern for anything that ails in Naija... corrupt ministry officials who strike shady deals with foreign companies to our detriment; who stash estacodes meant for pilots supposed to go on training abroad into their accounts, or to use and start their own 1 plane airlines...

Please observe that nowhere did i mention GOD here!Instead of people to speak up for themselves, take responsibility and in the case of the public demand action or punishment for those responsible, we stand and say, "It is God's will", "It is the will of Allah". In th end, we all collectively suffer for our passivity, our lack of outrage and inaction, our "siddon look" metality.

I apologize if this is too long for some of you, but i am soooo angry. What makes it worse is that there is very little in the way of alternatives...take road transoport and your likely to get robbed, if you dont get maimed or killed in accident due to bad roads. Sigh!

Anonymous,  12:58 am  

msmak: truer words have not been spoken. I remember getting on Okada for flights between Benin and Lagos piloted by Filipino Kamikaze pilots who had the reputation of flying in weather that would ground geese. If anything, I'm amazed there aren't more accidents.

To quote one of your countrymen, Jeremy:
Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.

— Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. Circa early 1930's.

So, let's see: carelessness, check! Incapacity, check! Neglect, check! Yup, we're fucked.

Dotun 1:23 pm  

This discussion is becoming interesting, partly due to the emotions it carries and the fear that it could have been one of us.
I really wish there can be an online think-tank forum where some of the opinions here can be further highlighted and documented. we can pull all our thoughts and idea about nigerian aviation together at least for posterity.
Who knows, somebody in the right position can see it and take on board some of them, they might not, or they might even call it nonsense, but at atleast we would have spoken. The ancient Greek senate started with people discussing ideas like this.
By the way msmak was really spot on

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