Posted by Sade Williams
A former Director at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and now Executive Commissioner, Corporate Services Federal Competition and Consumer Protection (FCCPC), Adamu Ahmed Abdullahi, has mapped out plans that could spur positive competitiveness in the aviation sector.
Abdullahi who gave the roadmap, stated that even though African states have come up with different collaborations through the Yamoussoukro declaration and Banjul Accord Group for Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), much needs to be done to ensure positive competitiveness in the aviation sector.
Speaking on the theme: “Improving Positive Competitiveness In The Air Transport Sector” at the Airport Business Summit and Expo Africa held at NIGAV Centre, Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, Adamu emphasised that the protection of consumers’ rights is paramount in ensuring improved positive competitiveness in the aviation sector.
Explaining further, the FCCPC boss opined that, consumers also have the right to choice, to be heard, to redress, to a conducive environment, to value for money paid for service, and information.
He noted that,, the abuse of dominant position by some airlines to eliminate competition have since been addressed by the Nigeria Aviation Regulations (Nig CARS 2015).
Adamu however, insisted that an airline, service provider or operator abuses a dominant position if it impedes the maintenance or development of effective competition in a market and in particular is engaged in restriction of entry of any other Operator into any other market or preventing or deterring any Operator from engaging in competitive conduct in the relevant route or market, eliminating or removing any operator from the relevant route or market.
Another area Adamu noted that a stakeholder could abuse a dominant position is when such operator directly or indirectly imposes unfair, discriminatory or predatory tariffs or fares; purchases or sells prices or other anti competitive practices through any discount, allowance or rebate practice in relation to the supply of services, etc.
He observed that despite the ICAO universal safety Audit of Nigerias effective implementation of standards and recommended practice capabilities, IATA IOSA Gap Analysis of all Airlines, FAA certification; the attainment of category I status, and ICAO Security Audit, the same has not happened for the aviation infrastructure.
Lamenting the infrastructure decay, Adamu said “Our airports cannot compete favourably with world established airport; and the dream of turning Murtala Mohammed Airport Lagos into a Regional hub is far from being Realize” .
“Most of the nations terminal buildings require modern functional ones with the state of the art technology. Our apron spaces are congested and grossly in adequate, thus not being able to minimize timing in the area of facilitation” .
“Runways are undulating and deteriorating, and have outlive their design life.
On the whole, critical safety support services are all stretched to their limits” .
Adamu equally maintained that associated services at the airport such as Airport Rescue and fire fighting services, water and power supply are outdated.
Air navigation services (ANS) comprising the entire CNS ATM, he said are in an even more deplorable state,just as replacement of obsolete communication equipment, improvement of the Navigational equipment are necessary if Nigerian airports must compete positively with world established airports.
According to him, the degree of competition faced by airports varies strongly with market conditions.
“Capacity constraints in relation to airlines needs and hub functions is a veritable tool. Aeronautical and non-aeronautical activities are important sources of revenue and demand for such services is complementary. Airports physical capacity to handle flights is determined mainly by runway and terminal capacity”, Adamu added.