Feature: Tinubu needs an Aviation Policy


By ayo Akinfe


Given Tinubu’s love of his private jet and his penchant for flying all over the world, I am surprised he has not unveiled an aviation policy. I would have expected something like this from him

Ayo Akinfe

[1] If Nigeria was a country that had any shame, we would be eternally embarrassed about the fact that we do not have a single aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility. This is totally unacceptable for Africa’s largest economy

[2] MRO is an essential requirement to ensure that aircraft are maintained in pre-determined conditions of airworthiness to safely transport passengers and cargo. At an MRO facility, aircraft go through regular rigorous checks just as cars have to have an MOT every year to prove they are roadworthy

[3] What this lack of an MRO facility means in practical terms is that whenever any aircraft lands in Nigeria, it leaves immediately to be maintained elsewhere. In plain language – There is no aircraft mechanic workshop in the whole of Nigeria

[4] Globally, the commercial aircraft MRO market is influenced by external factors in the wider air transport industry including global fleet size, aircraft utilisation and increasing and decreasing air traffic volumes for both passengers and cargo

[5] In 2015, the global MRO market was worth $135.1bn, representing three quarters of the $180.3bn aircraft production market. Just imagine if Nigeria had say 10% of that

[6] Over the 2017–2026 decade, it is expected that the MRO market worldwide should reach over $900bn, with 23% in North America, 22% in Western Europe and 19% in Asia Pacific. As a continent, Africa is once more fast asleep

[7] In 2018, the commercial aviation industry expended $88bn on MRO, while military aircraft spent $79.6bn, including field maintenance

[8] Across Africa, the only MRO providers are South African Airways Technical (Saat), Ethiopian Airlines Maintenance and Engineering, Kenya Airways Technical, Air Algerie Technics and Tunisair Technics. There are also joint ventures such as Air France Industries’ and Royal Air Maroc’s Aerotechnic Industries

[9] Given how centrally located Nigeria is in Africa, the fact that Nigerians are the continents most travelled people and being the largest economy, we should be Africa’s aviation workshop, generating at least $20bn a year from MRO. Tinubu should get a bill passed banning the use of private jets in Nigeria until their owners fund an MRO facility

[10] For me, Lagos, Abuja and Calabar, the gateway to east and central Africa, should all be major MRO and aviation hubs. Our aviation policy should be geared towards making them massive depots where airlines bring their planes for servicing from all across Africa


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here