BY Daniel Eteghe
LAGOS – The Federal Government would require N40 billion per annum to meet the challenge of training civil servants in the country, just as aviation professionals said lack of adequate manpower and succession plan in the Nigerian aviation industry was killing its growth.
The Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, disclosed this while delivering a speech at a one-day workshop organised by the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, with the theme: ‘Generating Human Capital for Aviation Development’ in Lagos, yesterday.
Afolabi said any nation without training and re-training programmes for its workforce would not meet the expected international standards.
He said continuous training made succession plan possible, but a situation whereby personnel were not trained as required, made them incapable of taking leadership position in the future, describing aviation industry as a critical sector for the sustenance of the economy.
The Head of Service said to adequately train all the civil servants in the country, the government would need N40 billion.
Afolabi emphasised that the government knew the importance of the sector and so had put in machineries to ensure total safety of the airspace, but however, decried the myriads of accidents since 1999 till date, which he said put question mark on the safety of the country’s airspace.
He explained that since the accidents that jolted the sub-sector in 2005 and 2006, the government had taken proactive measures to invest in the industry, which he said were paying off, but said whatever gains made so far required consolidation and improvement from all the stakeholders in the industry.
He said: “The vision 20:2020 of the federal government may be difficult to achieve without efficient aviation sector and the reaping of the associated benefits. There is a need for the human resources to proposing innovative challenges for dealing with the future challenges.
“The government is bothered by the shortage of capacities in the country including the aviation industry. It is unfortunate that we have lack of continuity in almost all the spheres of the economies and ageing workforce is killing the aviation industry. What we are producing now in the country is the potential and not the actual and we need to improve our performances by producing the actual.”
Also, the Commissioner, AIB, Engr. Sam Oduselu earlier in his welcome address, said that there was a need to have qualified and competent personnel in the aviation industry if the sector was to be counted as one of the developing in the world.
Oduselu emphasised that the agency was bothered by the huge gap in the sector, which prompted it to organize the workshop, adding that safety was the cornerstone of the aviation industry. He said without succession plan safety would be relegated into the background.
He stated that ageing infrastructure could be immediately fixed with the availability of funds unlike the aging workforce, which he said would take years to materialise.
He said AIB had already commenced succession plans with the recruitment of young graduates who would take over from the present workforce, but said in order for those employed by the agencies to remain on the job, better remuneration should be given to personnel at all levels.