Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Nigeria: Civil Aviation Reform

Why should reforms be limited to the Nigerian aviation industry and not all sectors of transportation? (In fact Nigeria need a wide-scale reform). In this era, no form of transportation exists in total isolation; they are all are inter-connected somewhat and somehow.

Following the latest airliner crash in this country, many had called for aviation reforms and it appears the Nigerian government has heed these calls by grounding two airlines. As appropriate as this action may seem, to me, it may just be another example of the government playing to the gallery.

Any meaningful and long lasting reform should be well grounded in sound logic and economics,and economics by the way, is hardly ever unidirectional, but systemic and multi-faceted. It is only logical that Nigeria needs to adopt a systemic approach to dealing with its issues and problems.

The majority of Nigerians travel by land, it is my guess that the death rate is higher in road than air traffic accidents. I also guess that the total costs and burden of road traffic-related accidents surpass those related to air traffic. These will include, but not limited to, healthcare and economic costs, and the years of potential lives lost. So, why not extend the reforms to road management?

The other areas that deserve attention are the railway lines and sea/waterways, these have have been ignored for decades. These are crucial forms of transportation and will serve as catalysts to Nigeria’s economic and industrial growth.