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Aviation Headline National News Nigeria

Expert seeks more investment to enhance aviation safety

A Former minister of Aviation, Anthony Okpere says unless the country spends more money in acquiring equipment and training of personnel, the populace and the aviation industry will be in danger.

Mr Okpere, a retired air vice martial, called for more funding and training of personnel to further enhance safety in the sector.

Reacting to the issue of shortage of personnel in the aviation industry, he warned that, except the gap in the sector between retiring and serving personnel was bridged, the industry would experience serious problems.

“The job they are doing is so important,” the former minister emphasised.

“We talk about modern means of communications: Except we spend money, the lives of people and the industry is in danger,” he added.

He called for fairness and professionalism in the recruitment of aviation personnel, the shunning of ethnicity and favoritism as well as the upholding of competence and efficiency.

“Please lets open our hearts and minds and work for Nigeria and treat everybody the same, irrespective where we come from,” Mr Okpere said.

“No matter the number of degrees we have, experience matters. what we learn through experience, you cannot learn In a classroom”.

The ex-AVM recalled how, in 1987, the ministry took off with only three staff after he drafted the Decree that set up the various agencies in the sector that gave rise to Federal Civil Aviation Authority.

He said the people who succeeded him faced numerous problems “because there were certain things they did not understand”.

Many lacked the requisite skills, experience and professionalism, Mr Okpere said.

He insisted that the situation in the aviation industry would have been better off today if his successors in the ministry had invited him to explain the rationale behind many of the decisions taken while he was at the helm.

Reporting by Nosa Aituamen, editing by Daniel Adejo