Aircraft Cleaner Becomes Captain After 24 Years Of Hard Work

Muhammed Abubakar was dejected when he couldn’t apply for a course in Kaduna Polytechnic. But his life as a Nigerian doesn’t let him spend his days not doing anything. Any job is fine as long as he can live from paycheck to paycheck. That was how we winded up in Kabo Air where he landed his first job in the airline industry as an aircraft cleaner.

And that’s how he could tell an inspirational story of how he became a pilot.

Azman Air

“It was during Hajj operation, and I was earning N200 (about $0.5) per day, even though many believed that I wouldn’t do it because of the meagre money involved.

“I was later employed as ground staff with the airline in Maiduguri. Through my service in the company, I worked in almost all the units, except security. That helped me a lot in the aviation sector,” says Abubakar in his interview with Daily Trust.

A commercial pilot license can cost up to $20,000 and the journey to becoming one is not easy nor simple. Abubakar never dreamt of flying the plane he regularly cleans every day.

Azman Air

Abubakar grabbed his chance to become a cabin crew member and from N6000 a month, his salary went up to N17,000 or about $460 a month. From Kabo Air, he switched to Aero Contractors as a flight attendant in their chartered services. When they moved to provide scheduled services, Abubakar proved to become an important employee for the company.

Deputy Managing Director of the company sought out inputs from Abubakar who has worked for almost a decade. From N17,000, Abubakar couldn’t believe his eyes on his first month working in Kabo Air after they moved.

Azman Air

He recalled, “This is because my initial salary at Kabo Air was N17,000, and what I got paid in Aero was N170,000, so I couldn’t believe it.”

And that’s how his journey as a pilot began. After earning much for himself, he began considering his chances to become a pilot.

“I went to the managing director and sought his advice on my dream of training as a pilot. He was so happy, and supported me.

“That’s how I managed to sponsor myself for my private pilot licence in Canada, which marked my take-off as an aircraft pilot,” says Abubakar. He later got his commercial pilot license in Canada as well, which cost about $20,000 and eight months of training.

Azman Air

He’s now a Captain who got his fourth bar last year. At that rank, he earns at least $3,000 a month.

That’s the story of a man who earns $0.5 a day 24 years ago to a pilot who earns $3,000 a month.

Layla Collins

Smartphone and nature enthusiasts.

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