From Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has flagged off the Aviation Resuscitation Programme for Cadet Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, as part of more efforts to create sustainable livelihoods for former agitators and create a pool of skilled manpower for Nigeria’s Aviation industry.
Speaking in Lagos on Monday at the Inauguration Ceremony, PAP Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Ndiomu (Rtd), noted that enormous opportunities abound for the beneficiaries in global aviation.
Ndiomu who was represented by Wilfred Musa, PAP’s Head of Reintegration, recalled that past PAP administrations had made efforts at revamping the training programs but for administrative glitches and the complex nature of the Aviation industry, marginal success was attained.
He said the flag off of the programme which was initiated more than eight years ago, further shows that the current PAP leadership is critical about advancing the lives of ex-agitators.
While noting that the aviation industry is a major “touch point for Commerce” in any country, the IA urged those who are misinterpreting the initiative behind the program to “pay attention” to its long term benefits and instant values.
On arguments that beneficiaries may relocate abroad for greener pastures upon completion of the programme, Ndiomu posited that “there is nothing wrong with it”, as long as they are working abroad and sending home forex, which will in turn add values to the Nigerian economy. “Moreso, we exist within the context of a global village where the mobility of labor is encouraged for the purpose of knowledge expansion and strategic networking.”
He urged aviation stakeholders to take note of the program, and begin to look towards leveraging on the enormous pool of skilled manpower that the program will produce for the aviation industry.
In the aftermath of a Code of Conduct signed by the beneficiaries, General Ndiomu cautioned that discipline must be imbibed throughout their learning process. “We will not hesitate to delist anybody who will run fowl of items as listed. (Code of Conduct)”.
He further charged them to “elevate their reasoning” and “knock off” the feeling of “entitlement”.
In a brief remark, the facilitators of the program, Alom Aviation Services Ltd., expressed optimism that within a year, the trainees will be gainfully employed in the aviation industry.
Capt. Austin Omame, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Alom Aviation Services Limited assured Nigerians that the beneficiaries will be closely monitored throughout their time with the aviation firm which he said is an Approved Training Organization (ATO) duly certified by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Engr. Ofuafo White Ghavwan, one of the beneficiaries who spoke on behalf of the others, applauded the Amnesty Programme for sending them to one of “the best aviation training schools in West Africa and situation in Lagos.
He noted that the training opportunity has already guranteed them jobs in the aviation sector where such skilled manpower are in high demand.
The trainees are part of a total of 75 pilots and aircraft engineers sponsored by the Presidential Amnesty Programme to various Aviation Training Organizations (ATO’s) in Lagos (Nigeria), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Toulouse, (France) for type-rating courses as part of its aviation training scheme.
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