Olatunde-Agbeja decries dearth of Aviation personnel, lack of Air Traffic Controller’s Liability (ATCL) insurance policy

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CHAIRMAN Boff and Company, Insurance Brokers Limited, Mr. Babajide Olatunde-Agbeja has deprecated the lack of Insurance practitioners with technical knowledge to underwrite aviation policies in Nigeria

Olatunde-Agbeja stated that the industry still depends on the international market to provide technical assistance to assess aviation risk before placement.

This is just as he decried that there is no Air Traffic Controller’s Liability (ATCL) insurance policy in place for the aviation industry in Nigeria musing various scenarios that may call for the need of such.

He made these observations known at the CHINET Aviation and Cargo conference while giving a presentation titled Insurance and Aviation in Nigeria

He canvassed a need for insurance practitioners to specialize for improved technical knowledge and robust underwriting of aviation policies and while the situation in Nigeria to developed nations, he drew a sharp contrast.

Agbeja said,” In the more-developed economies, insurance personnel specialize and stay in a department all their working lives, thereby gaining enough experience to underwrite a specific policy type within a few years of working.

“In Nigeria, we are trained to know everything and move from one department to the other.  Therefore, it is difficult and highly improbable for one to master the operations of any one department. To date, we depend on the international market to provide us with technical assistance to assess a risk before placement.

“Recently, NAICOM attempted to increase the paid-up capital of insurance and reinsurance companies in Nigeria, but a recent court case temporarily stalled the implementation.  With the high level/volume of finance necessary to run an aviation company, it stands to reason that the best friend of aviators should be the insurance industry.

On the ATCL he said,” At my last check, I was amazed to find out that there is no Air Traffic Controller’s Liability (ATCL) insurance policy in place for the aviation industry in Nigeria. What happens if a traffic controller mistakenly directs two aircrafts into each other’s path?

“We’ve had many claims of this nature over time worldwide with a few in Nigeria. An ATCL policy is compulsory for any aviation industry involved in ATC no matter how small the volume of traffic is.

He canvassed for an ATCL insurance policy to be purchased immediately by the relevant parastatal in the aviation industry.

Agbeja also said that the country in the eyes of the international community is still regarded as a risk because of events of the past which has led many to still maintain the status quo and has kept insurance premium at a high.

He said,” While it is true that the present Government has been diverting a lot of resources to the transport sector lately, there was a lot of rot in the system in times past.  Much equipment is obsolete and ineffective, leading many to believe that our airspace is unsafe.

“In addition, there has been many aviation accidents/incidents in the past few years including near misses which fuels this notion of unsafe airspace.

While our aviation personnel are well trained, the opportunities to operate in a robust manner are few because the airlines are few, with a limited number of aircraft, so many of these personnel are unemployed or under employed. With continuous employment, experience is gained, and one operates better.

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