As brain drain continue to plague the Nigerian aviation industry, the Director General, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) Prof Mansur Bako Matazu has investing in aviation, upscaling of reward systems and training could arrest the ugly situation.
He spoke in Abuja Wednesday on “mitigating the impact of brain drain in the aviation industry in Nigeria” at the annual Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conference holding in Abuja.
He also said the aviation roadmap being implemented since 2015 is a direct response to mitigate brain drain. He further proffered other solutions to mitigating brain drain.Firstly, “The FG in 2015 began a roadmap to spur growth in the aviation industry. One of the components of the roadmap is the creation of Aviation and Aerospace University which is happening now” he said.
Secondly, “it is providing incentives for professionals to stay. This will curtail mass exodus of professionals for our great industry with all the huge potentials.”
Thirdly, he said “we also need to establish partnerships with other countries and we have seen where these has helped to improve the industry.”
Fourthly Prof. Matazu said, “we need to invest in education and training. Most of the agencies now have their specialised training centres including NiMet. We now operate two accredited schools where we offer Diplomas in Meteorology and Climate Change. We soon upscale to HND other short term courses. So investing hugely by providing education and training really reduces training.”
And lastly he said “encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation” is key.
He said these components could impact reduction in brain drain and most of these have been captured by the roadmap.
The key components of the Roadmap are: Concession of four Airports., Establishment of National carrier (Nigeria Air), Development of Agro filled/Cargo Terminals, Establishment of Maintenance, Repairs and overhaul (MRO) Centre, Establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company (ALC), Development of Aerotropolis (Airport cities) and the Establishment of an Aerospace University.
Others are the Improvement in Aviation Safety and Security through upgrades and Modernization of Aviation infrastructure and facilities.
The NiMet DG said some of the factors propelling brain drain is the limited opportunities for professional growth and develo:ment
Prof. Matazu noted that “as a result of inadequate investment in the aviation industry, there are limited opportunities for professionals to develop their skills and advance their careers, often leading to a sense of stagnation and frustration, and thereby driving skilled professionals to seek opportunities elsewhere” adding that there is “Insufficient career advancement opportunities for professionals in the industry.”
He further stated that there are “insufficient access to training programs, workshops, and conferences that allow professionals to develop their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry best practices.
The NiMet DG said brain drain is a significant challenge for the Nigerian aviation sector, where highly skilled and experienced aviation professionals leave the country for better opportunities and working conditions abroad.
Brain-drain in the aviation industry refers to the loss of highly skilled professionals such as pilots, engineers, air traffic controllers, aeronautical meteorological professionals, airline crew, and others, to other countries. This is a significant challenge for the aviation sector in many countries.
According to him, this occurs as a result of these professionals leaving their home country in search of inter alia better opportunities, higher salaries, and improved working conditions abroad.
This, it comes with negative implications/impacts on the growth and development of the industry, as well as on the economy and society.