Ex-NCAA boss slams Nigeria-Qatar BASA

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Ex-NCAA boss slams Nigeria-Qatar BASA

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Ex-NCAA boss slams Nigeria-Qatar BASA

By Ofonime Essien

Ex-NCAA boss

The former Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Harold Demuren, has described the recent Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) signed by the Federal Government with Qatar as good politics but bad economics.

He said this at the quarterly breakfast meeting with the topic, “Nigeria Aviation Policy, NCAA Autonomy and Politics, Safety Regulation and Enforcement”, organised by the Aviation Safety Round Table (ASRT) at GulfView Hotel and suites in Ikeja, Lagos.

Demuren said that though it was good politics for the federal government to have signed BASA with the state of Qatar but that it was bad economics.

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Demuren added that Qatar had an airline; Qatar Airways, which currently has seven frequencies into Nigeria and that no Nigerian airlines fly to Doha, adding that now that there was a BASA with Nigeria, the airline would demand for more frequencies and more entry points into the country.

He said that apart from not operating to Doha at the moment, Nigeria may not be able to reciprocate, adding that from these facts, it was clear the BASA was already one-sided.

He lamented that those countries Nigeria had BASA’s with no longer pay royalties for flying into the country.

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Demuren stated that, presently, Nigeria airlines could not compete with Qatar Airways in terms of equipment, personnel, maintenance and in other areas.

According to him, “I am not saying that we should not sign BASA. What I am saying is that if we must sign BASA, we must know the content of the BASA we are signing.”

He said that, in the past, international airlines that operated into the country and paid royalties based on the BASA and that that was how the government got some money in return for its investment, adding that, presently, these airlines no longer pay royalties.

This, he stated, had denied the Federal Government returns for its money.

In his words, “Government must get something back as return for its investments.”

On his part, the former Managing Director of Nigeria Airways, Mr. Andrew Okunuga advised that Nigeria should not spend so much energy on frequency but what would favour her.

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He stated that BASA should not be discussed in isolation, adding that BASA also included joint venture, code share among others, adding that what the Federal Government should do was to encourage Nigerian domestic airlines to make them international players in the aviation market.

Okunuga stated that Arik Air and Medview Airlines should have been present when the latest BASA with Qatar was signed and the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

On how to make domestic airlines survive, the former Nigeria Airways Managing Director, stated that the one man business mentality was not helping the operators, calling on them to come together so that they could grow.

Source: Daily Times

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About Author

Ofonime Essien

Mr. Ofonime A. Essien, is a Helicopter Pilot. He is also a Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA), Oracle Certified Associate (OCA), a Computer Forensics Expert, a Blogger, Web Master, a Writer and an Entrepreneur. He is an avid reader. He likes motivating others to achieve their dreams through writing and speaking.

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