Capt. Dele Ore, a former president of the Aviation Round Table (ART), has kicked against the influx of expatriates into Nigeria’s aviation industry.
Ore spoke with aviation correspondents on Sunday in Lagos.
He warned that the high level of expatriates taking over positions of local technical personnel in the nation’s aviation industry needed to be checked.
According to him, several Nigerian pilots trained in different aviation colleges in the country and beyond are roaming the streets without jobs.
Ore noted that local airlines were getting dispensation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for expatriate quota, which would negatively affect Nigerian professionals in future.
He said as far back as 1984, the former Nigerian Airways had put Nigerians in critical positions, but the reverse was now the case as foreigners had taken over the industry.
“The government should come up with a policy that says at least we must have a Nigerian in the cockpit, even if not as a commander, a Nigerian should act as a co-pilot,” Ore said.
He, therefore, called for adequate training and retraining of indigenous technical personnel towards ensuring that they are able to compete favourably with their foreign counterparts in the industry.
It would be recalled that the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) recently grounded the operations of Bristow Helicopters in Lagos, alleging salary disparity between Nigerian pilots and engineers and their foreign counterparts.