Aviation

April 24, 2024

FG’ll be tough on unlicensed private aircraft operating commercial operations — Keyamo 

FG’ll be tough on unlicensed private aircraft operating commercial operations — Keyamo 

Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo

By Miftaudeen Raji

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN) has vowed that the Federal Government will be tough on unlicensed private aircraft operating commercial operations.

Keyamo stated this in an interview on Channels Television.

He said, “These are things we cannot discuss before the camera because there are people within the system, bad eggs who just take gratification and endorse these (untrained) people to continue, not knowing that you are putting the flying public in danger. 

“I have my intelligence report on this and I’m going to do something about it very soon. You are going to hear some kind of announcement I’ll make in the next one or two weeks on this issue including unlicensed private aircraft in commercial operations. These private jets are operating commercially to a huge loss of revenue to the Federal Government. 

“They get licences for private operations but do five to eight commercial flights a day. It’s economic sabotage and I’m not going to allow that to happen. Some people who are even my friends or friends of Mr President, we are going to come hard on all of them and perhaps ground all their planes, withdraw their licenses. We’re not going to allow that to happen. 

“To the issue of training and retraining, it is in most of these private aircraft you see those who have not gone for their routine training and we have complicit people within the system, people who are supposed to check them that are not doing their job. 

“I have intelligence on them and we are coming very hard on them because we have to raise revenue for the federal government, ensure that the laws are kept and that Nigerians are safe.”

Meanwhile, Keyamo said a functional aviation system in Nigeria will push demand for the Naira in Africa.

According to the minister, airline maintenance, repair, and overhaul, among others, are issues affecting Nigeria’s aviation industry.

Speaking on piloting the aviation industry, Keyamo said, “(It’s) an exciting experience for me. I just have to give kudos to Mr President for his vision, and his dexterity. I don’t know how he knew that about 90% of what we have to do in aviation has to do with the interpretation of BASAs (Bilateral Air Service Agreements), enforcement of agreements, and all of that, so it’s incredible.”

The minister said President Tinubu threw him into a natural environment, adding, “For me, it also requires a lot of diplomatic shuttles, and funny enough, I am a fellow of international arbitration for the United Kingdom so I discovered that most of this work has to do with the interpretation of international agreements and all of that. So I just found myself in a natural environment and I’m loving it.”