The Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yakubu, explained why the new crops of Nigerian pilots are unemployed.
He noted that most of the new pilots are unemployed because they lack experience, adding that the narrative would change if Nigeria floats a national carrier.
He disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday at the 7th edition of Aviation workers week with the theme: “Contribution of National Carrier to the Socio-Economic Development of Nigeria“.
Speaking on the importance of Nigeria having a national carrier, Yakubu said: “The national carrier will create lots of employment for the new crops of pilots because Pilot training is one of the things needed in the industry and we cannot have pilots that are not trained. When we have pilots that are not trained, they are almost like no pilots again.
“For us to also have pilots flying, we need to have enough airlines and aircraft. Without the national carrier, we have a lot of airlines that do not have the cloud or capacity of a national carrier.
“So, the pilots we have now are generally unemployed because they do not have the experience. The younger ones are not experienced.
“Flying is a profession that the more you fly, the more you get experience, the more seniority and the more accomplished you get. So the new ones need the pedestal for them to launch their carriers and they do not have enough right now.
“So, we believe with the national carrier, there will be a proper platform for them to launch their careers effectively and that is the big difference.”
On when it will be floated, he said: “We are working on it. We had a time frame two years ago but we had issues. We are trying to make sure that our time frame remains respected and we stick to it and that is why we don’t want to make it public but we have gone very far.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika restated government’s determination to float a national carrier.
Sirika said despite what Nigerians are hearing and reading from the media, national carrier will come to fruition soon.
The Minister however refused to give a specific date for floating the carrier.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director, PRS Shehu Rabiu said: “The National carrier will contribute a lot to the economy of the country and it is the dream of every Nigerian because of its economic advantage. It is revenue generation industry and we hope that when the national carrier starts, Nigeria will be fully represented globally.
“It will create jobs opportunities in the country and beyond.”
On when it will be floated, he said: “Our focus to float a national carrier is still on course despite what we read and hear in the media. It will be floated as soon as possible.”
On what was responsible for the delay in Nigeria having a national carrier, he said: “We have internal mechanisms that we have to address but I assure you that it will be actualized any moment from now and you will be part of the take off”