Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, disclosed that the newly launched national carrier, Nigeria Air is programmed to boost the country’s economy.
According to Sirika, Nigeria Air came into being as part of on-going moves to diversify the Nigerian economy from the dominance of crude oil.
Sirika maintained that the Federal Government is committed to creating an enabling environment to promote competition in the Aviation sector.
How Nigeria Air can boost the country’s economy
It is paradoxical that Nigeria with her large aviation market does not have a national carrier. If properly managed, the Nigeria Air will bring the country closer to the world and make the world more closer to the country.
Nigeria Air will open the country to the outside world and ensure inflow of investment from around the world.
The National Carrier is Private sector driven. Thus, it is pertinent to understand that it is a business, and not a social service. The Nigerian government is not expected to be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors are the ones that have full responsibility for this.
When Nigeria Air’s operations finally kick off, the national carrier will result to favourable balance of trade in the industry and also reduce outward-bound foreign exchange.
Nigeria Air has immense economic gains if properly managed; the resuscitation of the nation’s national carrier will revive the nation’s economy.
There have been indications that the newly-unveiled national carrier, may suffer a setback as the House of Representatives indicated interest to investigate the concession process of the Nigeria Air, which was unveiled in London.
In order to avoid failure, losses and embarrassment of the country, Honourable Dennis Agbo who sponsored the motion recommended an ad-hoc committee to look into the process of concession of the national carrier.
Recall that following the unveiling of Nigeria Air in London, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has threatened to halt the operation of the new national carrier should the Federal Government refuse to pay severances of all the staff members of the defunct Nigeria Airways.
Comrade Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary of the union, maintained that until the Government ensure the payment of the former workers, aviation unions will ensure the newly-unveiled project never come to fruition.