Can I trust Nigerian Corporate Jet flying Companies to Pay for Contract Pilots?
I am considering working a 3 month small private jet job in Nigeria. Can I trust to get paid? Am I stuck there if I elect to want to return to the USA? Someone told me to get paid before I leave? Please offer up all the important issues I need to consider prior to leaving?
Signed 'Pilot who can't find any 411 off the internet regarding contract flying in Africa'
If its only for 3 months they have no incentive to retain you so will defo try to not pay your last month salary at the end...its standard practise...if they need you they`ll keep paying you although late etc but if its 3 months haha forget it..all the hassle and uncertainty and health issues and malaria to worry about for 3 months work...not worth it at all.
There is a whole other issue to consider here. Nigerian aviation is a completely different animal. The ATC procedures are very difficult to follow. The ATC radios are very difficult to understand (especially Kano Control). Other aircraft will lie to ATC, stating false locations, false altitudes in order to gain advantage. Do not even consider taking off with an inop TCAS. The controllers will lie about the actual weather conditions at their airport. You will have to fight for transmission time, as everyone is talking over each other. Understand that your GPS NAV is more reliable than the garbage ground based NAV aids. Do you have experience with ITCZ thunderstorms that routinely top out at 50 or even 60,000 feet? Did you know none of the runways in Nigeria are grooved? Did you know Lagos 18L routinely floods in heavy rain? How about sand storms? It takes a minimum of 3 months just to grasp what you will be expected to do on day one. I wish you good luck. I hope they are offering you a lot of money. I hope you get the money they are 'offering'.
Needless to say.... I am an unemployed pilot who has a wife (with baby due to arrive 3 days before I leave. Food stamps are not pulling it. So, let me ask? Have you personally had this experience? I understand independent contract companies such as ACCASS, etc... work this type of business on a regular basis. Would you recommend I try to call a couple of these type companies (if you have any contacts, names, etcc..... I'd appreciate it) to inquire about protocal to protect our pay as best we can? Was your comment directly pointed at TradeCraft? Any way I can get a phone number to someone (or yourself if is the case) who has done this job in the last year or two? I know I am asking alot but the brotherly love is appreciated during these trying times.
PS I flew MD11s Worldwide for 8 years for FedEx as typed rated FO. Yet I haven't done the Africa thang yet.
I worked for the most succesful Nigerian bank - begins with a Z - on a major transaction
Whoever lied to you that 'Z bank' is the 'most successful Nigerian bank'? Obviously, you didn't do a proper due diligence on your client, so maybe the fast buck you were looking for didn't come that fast.
Major transaction? It makes me wonder if you are one of those 'Mr. Fix-it' the thieves use to steal money from the country. No?
Sir, you've said it all, they don't want their fellow 'expert' to come and taste the sweet water they drink. You know what, if only the thieves who employ them wake up to realise that they have options, then most of them won't get the chance to mouth off about Naija. They would probably be earning their gigantic salary that they deliberately disregarded to come and work in Nigeria.
I haven't heard of the company name you mentioned, all i would advise you is to get the offer and whatnot documented; and probably see if they use a recruitment and/or management company which could give you some additional information about the potential employer.
Better still, if the money is too much to ignore, take the initiative, show up for two months, get paid and disappear as long as you are able to do so. That way, you don't get to experience what others try to scare you with, it also gives you the opportunity to assess your employers first hand and then decide if you wish to play out the third month.
Nigeria isn't perfect but trust me, nowhere is! Its what you make out of it that should matter to you. Whatever you decide, happy Landings!
Yes. You're right. It's all just a big cover up. ALL the expats here who are warning against doing it are actually just trying to protect the secret of how super-awesome it is to work in Nigeria and to deal with Nigerian institutions.
Firstly, welcome to Nigerian Aviation. It is such a sad shame all of the misinformation you have been receiving from devious expatriates. They are clearly insecure and do not wish to face even steeper competition for jobs in the Shangri-La of aviation.
Might I suggest a humble good faith offering to the employer for the job your are competing for? Maybe send them the equivalent of three months salary to show your commitment?
For what it is worth, here are the facts:
1. All salaries are paid, in advance, on or before the first of every month.
2. Whomever your operator is, they have an unblemished record of honesty and virtue. Of course they will pay your salary!
3. Nigerian aviation is the yardstick by which all other aviation communities of the world measure. EASA, FAA etc. all have done extensive case studies on Nigerian airspace, navigation, communications and airports in order to improve their systems. If you enjoy a smooth, safe flight with quality ATC in the USA, thank a Nigerian.
4. Radio communication is not lacking. Everyone is just so friendly and social in Nigeria that they like to talk at the same time. It's nothing personal!
5. Kano control (which most times should be called Ethiopian Control), has crystal clear sound quality. Anyone who complains clearly has poorly maintained radios in their aircraft. You will read them 5 X 5 24/7
6. Grooved runways are a silly throwback to a time before anti-skid and grooved tires. As a matter of fact, the runways are so good, you'll never even hear tower say "Caution standing water on runway."
7. Only sissies are afraid of thunderstorms. Nigeria's proximity to the equator only guarantees a daily opportunity to wear your big boy pants to work. Go for the magenta! Channel your inner Chuck Norris.
8. Insist on being paid in Naira. Take it all home with you in cash. That way you'll be ahead of the game in 2013 when the IMF declares Nigerian Naira as the new world standard for currency. If not, it's VERY easy to exchange elsewhere.
9. Enjoy the delightful lack of accountability for every day occurrences. Just know that (insert your god here) will provide.
11. Never wear Deet, keep your windows open at night, don't bother with aircon and embrace the nightly symphony of mosquitoes buzzing in your ears. It's magical. 10-14 days later, you'll be reliving it during the malarial hallucinations. I like to think of Malaria as Nigeria's gift that keeps on giving.
What else can I say but "Welcome to The Centre of Excellence!"
I think C of E has covered most of what you really need to know.
If it's only 3 months, why not give it a go? Seriously! (That said, it did take most of my first tour, about three months, before I could understand what ATC was trying to tell me, yes...)
When it comes to ATC, you know that business about never accepting an ATC delay without getting an EFC (Expect Further Clearance) time? Would Chuck Norris worry about that? No, and neither should you!
If you do go for it, be sure to tell us later how it went. As well, be sure to say hello to Balewa when you get there, and Naija Ninja too. I am sure you will find them to be very good company in person.
Yeah, Nigeria... 'best kept secret' for a place to work abroad! I remember one time when Julius Berger decided to replace me with a newbie from California. He left partway through his first tour, saying 'I don't want to die!' What a pansy!
@ LGW: I won't object to you calling me a fool but i'll leave you to determine who has been fooled. Whoever has been fooled is surely a fool!
@ CentreOfExcellence: Don't stop, carry on with the humour/sarcasm. Trust me the 11 facts ain't complete, there's more for you to reveal, try to remember the rest.
@ Chuks: I really wish you could scare Rockstar1966 with so many of your Nigerian experiences and whilst at it, kindly explain to him why you stayed so long in the country. Maybe he would learn a lot from you and probably emulate your bravery.
@ Rockstar1966: Try this new approach to your decision making process. Go to Abuja airport, approach the 95% foreign crew who show up to operate on over 30+ corporate jets for the whole day and ask them any question you may have. At the end of the exercise, am sure you would sensibly figure out what's best for you.
Am equally sure the Nigerian thugs they work for have a gun over these crews' wives' head back home else, they won't be found suffering in Abuja. No?