You probably have heard of maternal mortality in Nigeria, and you may have also heard of infant mortality - they are both high.

But there is another high mortality you probably haven’t heard before – it is in the aviation sector.

Nigerian-owned airlines die like flies. Some even die before their first flight – Nigerian air for example.

Now, the Nigerian government’s bad bank, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON said it has identified poor corporate governance as the reason for this high mortality.

Corporate governance refers to those set of rules that help a company to run smoothly and profitably.

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AMCON said to reduce the high mortality rate of the domestic airlines, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority must begin to enforce sound corporate governance.

The Managing Director, AMCON, Ahmed Kuru, stated on Tuesday that many airlines were currently in debt due to lack of proper corporate governance.

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Kuru, who spoke at a colloquium organised by the Nigeria Travel smart in Lagos, said as a complex and capital-intensive business, airlines required high level of competence and discipline, adding that many reasons might account for the failure of airlines, but lack of good corporate governance ranked among the highest.

He said: “I have seen a long list of 42 airlines that have graced our airways with a lot of fanfare but collapsed afterwards to the shock of many. These include national carriers, many domestic airlines and cargo airlines. Interestingly, I have looked particularly from the date they commenced operations to the date they ceased operations and noticed with sadness that they operated for mostly less than 10 years.

“As I speak, the industry remains in the throes of airlines burdened with debts, under administration or in borderline of collapse. The only time airlines are viable in Nigeria are usually at the point of take-off. Indeed, we have become so used to failure that no matter how well an airline seems to be running, we are economical with praise because we do not know if it is just another bubble.”

Sad stuff!

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