Robots as Airport Workers and Its Impact on Employment in The Aviation Industry
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In order to fastrack security checks at the Nigerian airports, the Nigerian government is making adequate preparations for the eventual reopening of its airports for normal business, especially in this period of Covid-19 pandemic. This has led the government to purchase machines that can examine both profile data and check temperature level of each passenger before being cleared to board the plane. What this portends or the influence it will have on employment levels and or job losses remains to be seen and it is already a trouble spot for the underemployed Nigerian youths.
The Federal government of Nigeria has unveiled the acquired profiling Robots to be deployed at the airports, especially the domestic wing. The robots will process passengers at the departure halls of airports and will be used to check passengers’ body temperature as well as identify unwanted or contraband articles. The acquisition of the robots comes as the government prepares to reopen the airspace to domestic travel. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will deploy the bots in a test run before deciding if it should be fully adopted.
To be honest, this proactiveness is the kind of actions the Nigerian citizens expect from their government as it will guarantee a better and faster data checks at the airports and ensure Covid-19 containment associated with social contacts.
However, a full implementation of the introduction these machines will adversely affect the human staff strength in the airports. As is always the case where these gadgets have been introduced, we should expect substantial members of the airport workforce to lose their jobs to these machines. No one is against innovation, but this one will assuredly cost several people their means of livelihood or survival. The worst scenario is that the government will have no plans or safety nest for those who are going to lose their jobs in the process as they would be expected to look for jobs elsewhere.
Year in, year out, the Nigerian higher institutions of learning are graduating hundreds of thousands youths, who are released into the labour market, without government plans for them. We all know that the companies are very few in comparison to the number of unemployed graduates. As if this wasn't enough, the government has gone on to purchase robots that will take over the few remaining jobs for the youths.
It is really a call for concern and doesn't spell good for any unemployed youth or workers in the aviation industry. Banks are laying off their staff everytime, government cannot employ more than 1% of the graduates, private organizations are either not paying at all or not paying well, there is no money to do business and to add insult to injury, robots have arrived to take away the jobs. This is very disheartening to hear about, and the government is beseeched to help do something about this issue before it degenerates into a societal problem.
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