Awak To Gov Udom: Revamp Attah’s Aviation Vision As Key To Industrialisation

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    One of the fastest ways that Governor Udom Emmanuel can ensure he achieves his industrialisation dream for Akwa Ibom is to revisit and revamp the Attah’s vision of making the state a key player in the nation’s aviation industry through the actualisation of the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul Center (MRO) at the Akwa Ibom International Airport (AKIA), the Director Airworthiness Standards (DAWS) in Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Engr. Ita Awak has declared.

    Awak, who stated this recently while speaking as a guest on a Planet Radio Current Affairs programme, “Community View,” said Attah’s vision of building an MRO for the Akwa Ibom International Airport (AKIA) if realised, will revolutionise the industrialisation policy of the State government.

    He explained that the Aviation College, Zaria had trained many Nigerians as Pilots and Engineers that supplied the technical manpower for our national airline but noted with dismay that despite the fact that the defunct Nigerian Airways was one of the biggest airlines in Africa, all through its lifespan, none of its aircraft was serviced in Nigeria due to what he called the “estacode mentality” of Nigerian public officers as all the servicing of the fleet was done abroad.

    “Attah was a visionary leader of no compare in the South southern zone. When he became Governor, part of his vision was to ensure that Akwa Ibom comes into the aviation industry and monopolise the area of aircraft maintenance. That was why he invested our money in building an MRO (Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul Center). He did not stop there. The original idea was to have an airport, set up an MRO, build two large runways and attract a world acclaimed and internationally renowned organisation to manage it”, he stated.

    Continuing he said, “If we had succeeded in doing that, Akwa Ibom would have been like a hub to capture the aviation industry as far as aircraft maintenance is concerned in the West African coast. To realise that dream, Attah sent over 70 of our sons and daughters to be trained as pilots, aircraft maintenance and aeronautical engineers to different universities abroad some of who are now working in NCAA while others have trickled out”.

    He appealed to the Governor to consider vigorously pursuing policies aimed at achieving the Attah vision of making the state a major key player in the aviation industry, saying only by keying into the vision of the former Governor by ensuring that the state has a functional MRO can the people start giving him the benefit of the doubt on his industrialisation drive.

    Awak promised that he is poised to ensuring that operators in the aviation industry act in total compliance with the regulations governing the industry and stated plans by him to send Inspectors to Eket and Uyo to conduct what he termed “ramping” inspections even as he vowed it will no longer be business as usual with a promise that under his watch, the country will not experience any air mishap as he remains committed to his mandate of ensuring that air operators do not go below the critical minimum standards and laws governing the industry.

    The Mbo born aircraft engineer decried the fact that the state is lacking in representation in the aviation industry and urged the state government to emulate other states who are investing massively in the training of personnel that can fit into the aviation industry.

    Chief Awak also advocated for the revisiting of the Attah’s original philosophy behind the Science Park and the State University of Science and Technology, submitting that if those concepts were actualised, the state would have become a breeding ground for the provision of trained manpower to fit into not only the ICT, Oil and Gas and aviation industry, but that a template for the rapid industrialisation of the country would have been realised using Akwa Ibom as a case study. He promised to ensure that he acts as a good ambassador of the State in the discharge of the mandate of his office. “What I do will be a testimony to Nigerians as to the worth of an Akwa Ibom person when given a responsibility “, he submitted.

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