Barrister Allen Onyema the Chairman of Air Peace airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines in the country is calling for the right governing structures for airlines operating in Nigeria. He suggested that this could be done by appointing neutral boards that are bereft of the primordial sentiments to be able to caution the owner and management anytime they are going against the set procedures.
Onyema who made a presentation at the 25th League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) Annual Conference and Awards themed: Nigeria’s Aviation Industry: Management, Policy & Regulation said he is of the view that no investor goes into business with the intent to fail.
According to him many investors in the sectors also play in other industry but said that the aviation environment is highly regulated and what works elsewhere may not necessarily work in aviation unless the investors embrace global best practices. He insisted that a lot has been blamed for causing the huge death rate of airlines in the country ranging from management to regulation and policy but stressed that all that is changing, and the industry was emulating good policies to keep it under checks.
“Before COVID, a lot has been said about issues bordering on management of airlines in Nigeria vis-à-vis the death rate of airlines in this country. Fingers have been pointed on the management by the owners, stakeholders’ regulations have been also blamed and policies have been blamed but over time, things have started evolving and it can only be better, we hop for the best.
“I don’t want to believe anybody goes into business with the mind of failing in that business and so many of these people who have invested in aviation have succeeded in so many other businesses before they came into aviation. People have succeeded in other spheres so why are we failing in aviation? Yes, it could be down to the management of these airlines too, it could even be as a result of our own short comings in the sense that the kind of management you bring to bear on your other endeavors you have handled if you bring that to aviation you may fail.
“This is a very special industry, highly regulated, sometimes we the CEOs, stakeholders or those saddled with management responsibility of these airlines must also think outside the box to educate ourselves on issues we are going to face when it comes to aviation If you bring the kinds of things you do in other business into aviation, you might fail.”
In continuation he said, “A lot of people have talked about the governing structure of these airlines, as far as I am concerned you cannot cry more than the bereaved. I still believe the owner of a business will do everything possible to make it succeed, however these owners may take certain decisions that may be injurious to them without them knowing it, that is why I advocate the management of airlines in the country whether private or government owned.
“We must have to imbibe the globally accepted practices, to help us checkmate ourselves. We must have boards for these airlines, even if you are the sole owner, you must have a board to stop you when you are going the wrong way and allow the board have a freehand to advise you and in choosing members of your board you must make sure primordial sentiments are shunned.”