Major stakeholders in the aviation sector yesterday dissected the failure of local airlines, blaming poor corporate governance and management structure as the dominant causes of fatality in this clime.
The experts, who spoke at the quarterly breakfast meeting of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) in Lagos, observed that while over 40 airlines had already collapsed in the last 17 years, some of the surviving seven local firms and the proposed Nigeria Air were not immune to the same problem.
But the airlines faulted the position, saying they were more likely to collapse in “this predatory and harsh environment” than due to poor corporate management structure.
The NCAA statistics revealed that over 40 registered airlines had collapsed since the apex regulatory body was established in 2001.
Former Director General of the Institute of Directors (IoD) and the guest speaker, Victor Banjo, said airlines struggled around the world, but the major difference between the local firms and their foreign counterparts was the place of good corporate governance in management and operations of the business.
Banjo, who is a former director at the defunct Virgin Nigeria Airlines, explained that corporate governance essentially addresses measures to manage and reduce financial and operational risks by building the integrity, transparency and accountability of a company’s board and management.
He said it was not unusual to see Nigerian airlines collapse the offices of chairman and managing director in one person. Ditto for having one person as the manager and also a pilot, while wives and children are directors, and some not having board of directors or holding board meetings.