By Chinelo Obogo
Managing Director of Finchglow Group, Bankole Bernard has urged aviation agencies to provide a central data system from which reliable information can be accessed instead of relying on multiple sources.
This is just as he has said that for there to be sustainable policies, emphasis cannot be placed enough on implementation of existing policies.
Bernard said this last week at the 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airport & Aviation Correspondents (LAAC), with theme, ‘Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy and Regulation’, which held in Lagos.
The Finchglow boss has in the past made calls for the establishment of a central data system which he says
would help the industry plan and collaborate better here in Nigeria.
“For there to be meaningful collaboration, we need to have a central data system. With that I can rely on information coming from one agency to another. But when you look at it, we have a disintegrated system as it were.
“Until we integrate the system to a point that we all know that the information that I am getting is factual, then we will not move forward. We are talking about code-sharing and interlining among the airlines, how do you think that will be possible when they cannot even rely on information that is available?
“The information available are coming from different sources. The earlier we have a central data system the better for us, agencies, captains for the industry and even the reporters that will want to rely on the data that they have gotten,” he said.
On policy implementation and how it affects airlines and travel agencies he said over the years policies formed have not been implemented or affected the lives of those involved.
Bernard who is also President Association of Approved Training Organisations of Nigeria (AATON) called for an increase in accredited training institutions for the aviation and travel sector which currently has on 20. He said there is barely enough training institutions for over 200 million Nigerians, while stressing that people are interested but there are no policies to attract investors to this area.
“The truth is that policy implementation can never be overemphasized. It is something that has to be done on a continuous basis. Over the years, many policies have been formed but how well have they been implemented? How has it reflected on the industry and lives of the people involved?
“I think we have to shift focus to the impact over the years. As I sat there, I realized that the Act that governs the aviation training school in Zaria was enacted in 1964, whereas all others had been reviewed lately. How come the one that affects industry personnel has been abandoned for decades? It shows that we pay very little attention to the workforce in the industry and that explains why we more often export that aspect of the aviation business.
“We need to go back to the drawing board and make sure that the personnel are well trained. As at today, we only have 20 accredited training organisations in Nigeria, to serve a population of over 200 million people. It is not that people are not interested, but there are no enabling laws to attract investors into this critical aspect of the aviation industry. I think we need to pay more attention to issues that affect human factors in the industry,” he said.