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Chris Aligbe: Knowledge Capacity In Nigeria’s Aviation Industry Is Currently Very Low

He said the professionals of yesterday seem to be more diligent than those of today.

The Chief Executive Officer of Belujane Konzult, Chris Aligbe, has said that the knowledge capacity of the players in the Nigerian Aviation Industry is very low nowadays, and that the stakeholders in the industry need to learn from the professionals of past years.

Aligbe said this on an interview with ARISE NEWS on Wednesday, where he also said that the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, should ensure that those in the industry are well versed in their areas of specialization so that they can all provide insightful information into the industry when needed.

Speaking on the current happenings in the aviation industry, Aligbe said, “We are worried as much as you are worried for the simple fact that, yes, all is not well with our industry. Quite some daring strides have been made. I am happy the way our new airlines on the block, they are acquiring new aircrafts. It’s no longer the days of Sosoliso and the rest of them where we had aged aircrafts, but I think the professionals of yesterday appear to have been much more diligent than those who are managing today.

“The thing is that people in the industry today should sit and learn. What happened with Lagos-Asaba instead of Abuja, it’s a complete, it’s something that you’ve really not heard of before, but it’s capacity. You know, when we talk about capacity in the industry, people think it’s the aircraft, the number of people- it is not. The first is knowledge capacity. If you don’t have the knowledge capacity, you are not on.”

He then addressed the current level of knowledge capacity in Nigeria’s aviation industry saying, “It is very low. I can tell you that. Let it not be arrogance, but we took our time. Some of us, we took our time to learn the ropes.” He said that in his time in the industry, there were people who were specialized and seen as “encyclopaedias” in their field, but he said that in recent times, “What you find today is that somebody’s special area is maybe security or maybe airline operations, but you will call him, he will give you every story about all parts of the industry, and give impression that ‘I know very much of this industry.’ It is not true. There are various areas, and so, it will be good that when things come like that, get the people who know. That’s my advice to the honourable minister.”

When questioned on the availability of forums to address the issues in the industry, he said, “We had one recently in Lagos where the minister came.” He said that there were a lot of stakeholders, and several issues concerning aviation were discussed. According to him, it was a good meeting in terms of attendance and the contributions of people.

“The issues in aviation are so many that you need a whole lot of meetings to discuss and to find out exactly what the situation is.”

He then said, “I am seeing there’s also something that should be very critical on these issues. Identify people in the industry who know the specific issues that you want to address,” explaining the fact that one could not rely on someone to give detailed answers in an issue that is from a different field of aviation.

Regarding the Federal Government’s approval of over N3 billion for the acquisition of airport scanners for explosives detection, Aligbe said, “There are many different machines. I do not know the one the Honourable Minister wants to buy, but the truth of it is that in many countries, nobody searches your baggage anymore. Once it goes through the machine, it comes out, you take it. If there is any suspicion, they will stop you and pull you aside. But not that you’ll come and open your bag.

“So, that is the situation. We don’t know the cost of machine, but we don’t have it in this country. So, I won’t quickly jump to talking about the machine the society needs or talking about the cost because we don’t have that machine and we don’t know the details.”

He then said that he can only compare and discuss the cost and other details when the machine is acquired, and all the details and functions of the machine are known. He then expressed his happiness over the fact that the machines will be placed in Nigeria’s international airports.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi