'Nigeria loses 3.2b naira yearly on training of pilots, others'

Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria spends over 3.2 billion naira (US$20 million) yearly on the oversea's training of aviation personnel including pilots, air traffic controllers and others, according to local media reports on Friday.

The private Guardian newspaper reported that the comatose state of the country's apex aviation training school, the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) in the northern city of Zaria, has contributed to the capital flight.

Due to inactivity in the school for over a decade now, many young men and women had to seek admissions into various schools abroad, particularly in South Africa, where there are over 100 Nigerians training as pilots and aircraft engineers.

The newspaper reported that it costs about US$200,000 to train as a pilot, not to include the  training cost of air traffic controllers, aircraft engineers and others.

But the Rector of the International Aviation College (IAC), Ilorin, North Central Nigeria, Captain Nuhu Abdulkareem, said the Nigerian economy was being saved US$200,000 on every training done at the college.

The college, set up by the Kwara State government to address manpower need in the sector, last week graduated its first set of students.

Captain AbdulKareem said efforts must be geared towards replacing the aging workforce with younger one to avoid accidents.

“For sometimes they (NCAT) were not producing graduates. There was about 10 to 11 years shortages and if you look at my head, you will see that I am greying. I am 51 years old and I have been in aviation for 32 years; I started young. I worked with Nigeria Airways and also worked at NCAT for about 12 years.

“We are not saying that you should not patronise South Africa, Dubai or anywhere, but let corporate responsibility happen, let them sponsor Nigerians and keep them,” the Rector said.

He disclosed that the state government would soon source for a loan from China's EXIM Bank to fund some of its activities, including the purchase of more trainer aircraft to raise the number in the college's fleet from 8 to 20.
-0- PANA SB/SEG 27Dec2013

27 december 2013 11:42:59




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