By Onozure Dania
STAKEHOLDERS have advised legal professionals to abridge the gaps in the aviation sector, by taking more interest in the aviation industry. This was disclosed during the annual seminar of The Nigerian Bar Association, Section on Business Law NBA SBL (Aviation Committee), the stakeholders stated that there is need for lawyers to be more educated on issues in aviation industry in order for them to effectively discharge their responsibilities.
The theme of the event entitled: ‘Unlocking the potentials of Aviation Law and Practice in Nigeria,” chairman NBA SBL, Mr. Olumide Akpata said that the essence of organizing the programme is to allow young lawyers maximize the opportunities in the aviation sector.
He said lawyers should not only go into litigation, but also tap into opportunities in the aviation industry, adding that SBL (Aviation Committee) will organise more programmes that will build lawyers’ capacity.
Also speaking at the event, chief executive officer, Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, noted that there were enormous opportunities for lawyers in aviation industry.
According to him, it was not as if there were no aviation lawyers in the industry, but they are very few, ”you can count them on your fingers. I am talking as a lawyer and an operator; there is need for more lawyers in the industry.”
On his part, managing partner, Jurist Law, Mr. Pekun Sowole stated that for lawyers to unlock the potentials in the aviation industry, they have to do a lot of home work.
“For instance, some months ago I received a call from a lawyer that an action was filed against an airline at the State High Court, the Judge later ruled that the High Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case. Unfortunately, he messed up the client because if he had done his homework, he should have filed the case at the Federal High Court.”
The acting COO South African Airways, Mr. Aaron Muntesi, also stated that for young lawyers to succeed in the aviation industry, they must first realize that airlines are in the service industry, adding that they must also stick to the basics in order to make meaningful progress.
Managing Director, Landover Aviation Company Limited, Captain Edward Boyo noted that the aviation industry cannot survive without the lawyers, insurance operators and accountants. He urged lawyers to rise up to their responsibilities.
Similarly, CEO Speedy Aviation Consulting, Mrs. Fati Garbarti advised lawyers to get involved in aviation laws and help set up laws that would ease operations in the sector.