There are strong indications that the International Aviation College (IAC) in Ilorin may soon increase the tuition fee paid by trainee pilots by 100 per cent unless the State and Federal Governments come to the aid of the school.
Information gathered by Nairametrics showed that the trainee pilots currently pay about N12.5 million for the 18 to 21 months course. But the management has proposed to increase the fees by about 100 per cent when the new intakes are absorbed into the system.
Details on this: The aviation school’s acting Rector, Capt. Okatahi Yakubu said the management would increase the fees payable by students.
Yakaubu, however, was not specific on the actual amount the new intakes would pay. Instead, he said it would go higher than what the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria currently collects as tuition fees from trainee pilots.
NCAT, which is owned by the Federal Government, currently charges about N17.5 million as tuition fees from its students, while IAC, Ilorin, which is owned by the State Government charges N12.5 million throughout the course.
Reason for the increase: Yakubu attributed the freefall of the naira against major currencies, especially the dollars, as one of the major reasons for the planned tuition fee increase, saying that all the activities of the college, including Jet A1, were dollar-based. He said:
“Now, our school fees are about N12.5 million for piloting and that is exactly what Zaria is charging. I learnt that Zaria has increased to about N17.5 million. We will not stop at N17.5 million because it is not adequate for us. We will go higher than that, but we have not determined how much our new fees would be.
“Zaria (NCAT) gets subventions and grants from the Federal Government. Zaria also shares from the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) and also shares from the Ticket Sales Charge collected by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority. Ilorin doesn’t get anything from the Federal Government.
“Definitely, we will go higher than N17.5 million. In South Africa, the training school charges about N28 million; this is exclusive of the airfares, accommodation and feeding for the duration of the course. In America, it is about $40,000 and I have not converted that to the United Kingdom, but we are charging N12.5 million, which is nothing as everything we do in aviation is based on dollars.
“The equipment we are using is in dollars, spare parts are in dollars and even some of the instructors that are going to be foreign they are going to ask for dollars. So, it is reasonable for us to increase our tuition fees.
”He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to come to the aid of the college through yearly allocation, saying that the school was training pilots for Nigeria and the country’s airlines. He also decried that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Government approved some palliatives to airlines and some organisations in the aviation industry in the country, but exempted the college from the largesse.”
Also, he appealed to the Federal Government to include the college in the 7 per cent surcharge removed from customs duties for operators by the Federal Government in 2020. He emphasized that despite the waiver, IAC still pays duties to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), insisting that it was in violation of the Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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