By ANTHONY AWUNOR, Lagos
The Chief Executive Officer of Mama J Aviation Consult Limited, Joy Ogbebo has advised the government, agencies, airlines, corporate organisations and other aviation stakeholders to join in the search for a knowledge based society, noting that it is high time Nigeria improves on their Career Guidance, particularly in aviation, right from the secondary school stages.
Ogbebor stated that, it is through such means that the inherent career opportunities hidden in the sector would be unveiled to aspiring youths who she said, are the future of tomorrow.
The CEO gave the advice at the weekend during the Aviation Careers Conference organised by Mama J Aviation Consult Limited in Ikeja, Lagos.
With the Chief Executive Officer of Omari Consulting Services Limited, Victor Banjo as the Keynote Speaker, the conference was attended massively by intending aviators, aviation professionals, government agencies, schools, youth development agencies, airlines and aviation training organisations.
Speaking at the conference with the theme: Capacity Building Through Career Guidance”, Ogbebo who is also the Convener of the conference stated that the event was to introduce and mentor aspiring youths; open up channels of discussion that would help harness career opportunities in the industry and also to honor outstanding aviation professionals and stakeholders who have contributed immensely to human capital development in the aviation industry in Nigeria.
In her welcome address, Ogbebo disclosed that with Airbus, Boeing and experts’ prediction of an increase in aircraft fleet size in Africa, and shortage of aviation personnel, there is need for more trained airline pilots and technicians.
The need to host the conference, she said has become necessary based on the identified information gap in this area, adding that is obvious that many youths are seeking for information that is not readily available.
She further stated that such situations are further complicated by the fact that Nigerians do not have mentoring institutions where they can be guided just as she pointed out that they are many career opportunities in aviation that many people have not discovered.
“It is baffling to know that a lot of people who are already in their thirties are still trying to find out the career opportunities in the industry and what it takes to pursue one. Whereas, this process should have started much earlier whilst they were in secondary school”, she said.
Advising that the government on its own needs to strengthen aviation institutions, Ogbebo noted “We should have an Aviation University where Aviation courses are offered. That way, the next generation of aviation professionals can proceed to the university and pursue aviation degrees rather than go through the conventional universities first, before starting their journey in the aviation world”.
On airlines and corporate organisations, she said such organisations need to understand that countries that are advanced and have taken aviation to the next level are the ones that have taken proactive staeps to develop human capuital.
She therefore, charged such organsiations to be ready to support and assists initiatives that has to do with human capital development without expecting a direct return since it could only be the only way to invest in the nation’s future and the youths of tomorrow.
Emphasising that the time has come to start investing in the next generation of aviation professionals through human capital development, the aviation expert said that Nigeria also needs to start taking deliberate, intentional and conscious steps towards the realization of this goal.
In his own presentation, Guest speaker at the Aviation Careers Conference, Olugbenga Onitilo in his paper “The role of career mentoring for capacity building”, pointed out that apart from pilots, cabin crew and all those who require periodic licensing from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to operate, there are jobs within the industry that are not adequately recorded because of inadequate data which hinders planning.
Onitilo, the Chief Executive Officer, Skybridge Aviation Ltd also stated that undue political interference and unwarranted influencing of the regulatory body was also a major hindrance to capacity building.