Nigerian Economy Loses N560 billion Annually Over Lack Of Aircraft Maintenance Facility

Domestics aircraft operators will spend over N560 billion  on aircraft maintenance this year, investigations have revealed.
The money will cover major aircraft checks in Europe, Asia, America, South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco.
The checks include “C and D” under which major components of  aircraft are stripped and reworked.
Osun Defender recalls the State of Osun in partnership with the federal government embarked on building a Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facility in Ido Osun, but the for failure of the federal government to release its 50% counterpart funds has stalled the project.
Osun Airport
Uncompleted Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facility in Ido Osun
According to investigations over 200 aircraft are on the regulatory register for scheduled, private / charter operators and training aircraft.
In 2013, the operators spent over $1.22 billion (N200 billion) when the exchange rate was  N200 to $1 on maintenance because of lack of such facility at home.
Nigeria has over 200 aircraft  (scheduled, charter and privately owned), which are taken abroad for major repairs.
South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Ethiopia have workable Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facilities, and airports that operate as hubs.
Osun Airport3
Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facility in Ido Osun
The process of taking aircraft abroad for repairs, according to  engineers, takes a minimum of two weeks with a corresponding loss of about $500,000 (N160 million) for C-Check on Boeing 737. A smaller aircraft, such as, Embraer 190 or 100 would cost $300,000 (N110 million) during the same period. Many of the airlines take their aircraft abroad for repairs at exorbitant costs.
The aircraft are on queue for weeks before they are attended.
Given the complex facility requirements and the cost, it may be difficult for an airline to build a maintenance hangar in Nigeria.
Last weekend, some experts including Managing Director of Toucan Aviation Support Services Mr Achuzie Ezenagu and former Director-General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Dr Harold Demuren called for the establishment of facility in Nigeria.
Osun Airport1
Uncompleted Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facility in Ido Osun
They said the country would continue to lose huge money to repairing aircraft overseas until it has such a facility.
A former spokesman for Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Mohammed Tukur, called for partnership between the government and private investors to establish a local maintenance facility. According to him, it could save the airlines over 50 per cent of maintenance costs and make Nigeria a technical hub for aircraft maintenance. MRO costs encompass both the outgoing charges and the revenue loss during the out-of-service period.
The maintenance checks types are ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’. ‘A’ and ‘B’  checks are lighter checks; ‘C’ and ‘D’ are considered more intensive. ‘B-Check’ requires a large number of components to be inspected as the aircraft is put out of service and kept in the hangar until the checks are completed.
‘D-Check’ is the most comprehensive and expensive among the checks. It is usually referred to as Heavy Maintenance Visit (HMV),  involving the entire aircraft for inspection and overhaul. The paints may also need to be completely removed for detailed inspection of the fuselage structural integrity.
The airlines cough out millions of dollars for ‘C and D Checks’.
Former Director of Operations of the defunct Nigeria Airways, Capt. Dele Ore, said airlines that lease aircraft were required to pay into one or more maintenance reserve accounts in order to provide for future maintenance expenditures.
This, he said, would have been another boost to the Nigerian economy, but regrettably it is an alternative forgone.
Ore said: “It may, however, be viable for major players such as Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Medview Airline and others, to participate on building hangar projects.” He regretted that the issues of modern and licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AME) need to be given serious considerations.”
He said building a MRO facilitiy in Nigeria would save carriers huge revenue  on aircraft maintenance overseas, and reduce capital flights.
Osun Airport2
Journalist on a tour of the uncompleted Maintenance Repairs Overhaul (MRO) facility in Ido Osun
Nigeria is said to have the largest and most modern commercial aircraft fleet in West and Central Africa, but lacks an MRO facility.
Its airlines have been urged to build a cooperative alliance with global industry stakeholders, including viable investors that support an indigenous and economically viable MRO facility that would address the industry needs and aspirations.

Alleged N11billion Airport Contract: PDP Suffering From Hallucination – Aregbesola’s Aide

The Government of Osun has described the allegation by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that it has inflated the airport project in Ido Osun by N11 Billion as another confirmation of the fact that the PDP suffers from hallucination that is causing it wild imagination and delusions.

The government said the party keeps showing that there is no limit to the depth it could sink in irrational and illogical thinking.

‎In a statement by the Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, the government said the allegation by the PDP is most inelegant and absurd, having no foundation in reason or logic.

He stated that the allegation of inflating the contract sum of the Moshood Abiola International Airport from N4.5bn to N15.5bn, is a fiction and not a fact, saying that PDP in the state has once again displayed its pettiness, mischief and crass ignorance about governance.

The statement pointed out that the said contract under the former administration of PDP more than six years ago, was reviewed from N3,967,085,161.38 to N7,512,615,918.06 stating that this alone is enough to puncture the PDP’s fabrications.

“To every reasonable critic, if a contact was reviewed to N7.5 billion as far back as 2010 to the knowledge of the Presidency and the Ministry of Aviation, does it not make sense to consider exchange rates and other factors that could be responsible for the upward review of the contract?

“But we know that PDP can only survive on lies. However, we are consoled by the fact that its lies of 16 years are in the open. Its leaders are singing at the corridors of the anti-graft agencies and it is a matter of time before those who got contracts and never executed them but have used the ill-gotten funds to intimidate the people of our state come to judgment as well just like their cohorts who are now guests of the EFCC and inmates in some of Nigerian prisons.”

Noting that the Aregbesola administration has no problem with constructive criticism from opposition, it explained that “the Job of the opposition is not to concoct lies but to provide strong criticism  spiced with concrete facts”.

He held that it must be placed on record that the state’s airport project is in line with the realities of airport construction in Nigeria, citing the examples of Kebbi Airport that was built at an approximate sum of N17 billion and Bauchi’s N13 billion built about two years ago.

The statement noted that the aviation industry is changing worldwide, adding that an airport is not just about transporting air passengers alone but key in the movement of cargo.

The statement added that the MKO Abiola International Airport under construction in Osun is being built with huge economic benefits to the state in mind adding that the provision for an hanger for aircraft maintenance is part of the strategies to boost the Osun economy.

It stated that it was not of no importance when the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) called on states in Nigeria to enhance the movement of cargoes and passengers to accelerate economic development.

On the issue of jerking up the contract sum in order to allegedly embezzle the bailout loan the state got from the Central Bank of Nigeria, the statement wondered if PDP members in Osun resides in the state for them not to know how the bailout fund was handled in the state in a transparent manner.

Stating that the airport project has nothing to do with salaries or pensions in the state, the government said a project that was initiated before the coming of the Aregbesola administration cannot be reason for delay in the payment of salaries, which according to the statement, is already a settled matter given the understanding between the workers and the government.

The statement reminded PDP of the visit of the Nigerian Labour Congress’ President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba to the state workforce where he described such allegation as misleading and unfounded.

“Osun government and labour leaders came to a common ground on how the bailout funds was disbursed for the payment of backlog of workers’ salaries.

Any insinuation on abuse or misappropriation of the fund is simply the imagination of a jaundiced mind.

“The union and the state government set up a 17-man committee presently overseeing the apportionment of all revenues accruing to the state for equitable distribution to all sectors of the government for industrial harmony and effective administration of the state.” The statement emphasized.