….the new fees exclude feeding and accommodation
Due to the present economic realities, Aviation training institutions have quadruple their tuition fees for pilot training.
This increase will no doubt dim the dreams of many young Nigerians who have interest in training as pilot for the Nigeria Aviation Industry.
Also, this may also discourage sponsors like state governments, airlines and other individuals who sponsor indigent students in this institutions in the country.
One of the Aviation training colleges, the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, Zaria increased its pilot training tuition or course fees this year, 2023 to N12,838,110.00(Exclusive of accommodation & feeding) and when added, this amount to N18m as against N7.5m in 2022 for a two year duration in the college inclusive of accommodation and feeding.
A look at the fees so far charged by the college shown that, this is the first time in four years from 2019-2022, it is increasing its fees. While in 2018, the fees charged including accommodation and feeding was N8.9m.
Recently, another Aviation training college, the International Aviation College, IAC, Illorin also announced it will increase its course fees soon for pilot training above that of NCAT.
Rector of the IAC, capt. Yakubu Kodahi had said, the increase is based on the dollar exchange rate as most of the things needed for the training was all in dollars, aircraft, spare parts and they sometimes pay instructors in dollars.
However, the reasons for the increase in NCAT is yet to be ascertained.
Investigation revealed that, the National Assembly recently gave their nod to Management of NCAT to increase fees since the IAC, Ilorin was charging more as the goal of both colleges is the training of pilots.
NCAT is where most of the professionals in the industry today were trained either on scholarships or as private students.
Stakeholders are unhappy with the increment, stressing that, as a Federal Government institution the new tuition fees would be beyond the reach of the common man.
An Aviation Consultant and a member of the Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative, ASRTI, GRP. Capt. John Ojikut (rtd) says, for the current amount charged, NCAT should breakdown the cost of the training.
“I think those responsible for the pilots training in that institution should try and break down the cost of training the pilots both for academic and the flying training. From the information available, the flying training should cost more which I can not see to be more than N5m or N50,000/hr for the required 100hrs needed for the certification of the flight training”.
He wondered why they charge so much when they also benefit 6% from the ticket sales and cargo sales charges, TSC, CSC 5% earnings from the NCAA.
“What does the NCAT do with the 6% it collects still from the NCAA 5% earnings onTSC, CSC and CFC? My worry always is what oversights are the NASS Committees on Aviation doing on the functions and earnings of the operating agencies and departments of the civil aviation?
In his opinion, he said, “I also do not expect more than N3m for the academics; so where does the 100% increase come from?”
“How did NCAT arrive at 100% increase? Has it the NASS approval and on what justifications? Is NCAT still a FG responsibility or it’s been privatised? We need to know how the 100% increase was arrived at. For me, it makes no economic sense if the NCAT is still benefiting from the NCAA Charges earnings up to 6% if the new Act has not even increased the percentage”.
Another stakeholder and a member of the ASRTI, Mr. Olumide Ohunayo said, the college was established to provide professionals for the aviation industry and wondered why NCAT would raise the tuition fees up to N18m beyond the reach of the common man as this would further affect the training of personnel.
Ohunayo said, what was expected of the college was to have subsidized fees for Nigerian students in the college as they were using public funds to run the college stressing that the gesture does not show that they are having support from the government.
“Even at N7m most of them were sponsored by the government and now N14m, who is going to go there. They want the instructors to be on holidays?”
He called on the management of NCAT to rethink this increment, stressing that, there was no excuse for them to collect same fees with privately run institute without funding when they get budgetary allocation from the government.