It was a thing of great joy the news that made the rounds for a new national carrier as unveiled by the Minister of state for Aviation Hadi Sirika in London days ago pursuant to the Certificate of No Objection and Outline Business case certificate of Compliance from Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission, having noted that same is in substantial Compliance with the ICRC Act 2005. Whilst this innovative and noble idea must be honestly commended, a few concerns must be put into consideration by the federal government in this airline which was Established in 1958 but liquidated in 2003 among other matters of great interest.
Giving that this project will and should outlive the current administration, that the new national Carrier according to the agreement between the federal government will be controlled and managed by the handler with zero involvement by the Federal government, that the transaction, procurement and bidding processes of every phase of this project should be open in line with open governance policies particularly the purchase of the aircrafts, among other facilities captured in the agreements and the bidding for which company takes the deal with evidence of budgetary provisions or virement for this project in keeping with the public trust.
That proper plan must be put in place to ensure that the factors that destroyed the Nigerian airways in the past such as free flights and private use of the aircrafts by government officials among other embarrassing factors must have been implementably blocked to avoid another disaster in this business venture particularly the aviation sector wherein other smaller African states have left Nigeria behind.
The federal government and the National Assembly must immediately commence investigation on the alleged cases of fraud that grounded the National Carrier in the past with a view to bring all known perpetrators to justice as well as show that it will no longer be business as usual in the new investment of public funds in this case with a view to build the confidence of investors.
We propose in the public and citizenship interest that this same speedy gesture by the federal government should be immediately extended to other sectors as top priority, particularly the immediate revival of the Ajakuta Steel Company, Port Harcourt, Onne, Calabar and Warri Seaports Etc to give a strong economic spread of opportunities in the spirit of economic and commercial decentralization of business opportunities in the country by showing the will and courage to dismantle all human cartels and principalities holding back this dream.
That the Federal Government should immediately consider the decentralization of our international travel routes through a shortest implementable plan to expand international routes to other parts of the Country such as Port Harcourt international airport, Owerri Airport, Enugu international Airport along with the spread of consulates Etc so as to serve as an opportunity for economic expansion in those areas to attract foreign investors along with a plan to boost all the necessary facilities to world class standards in these airports.
The federal government should not forget the unpaid workers of the defunct Nigeria airways who have not only lost their lives in high numbers but have continued to wallow in abject poverty and denial due to the non payment of their due entitlement despite the fact that the Federal Executive Council about a year ago approved about N45B billion Naira owed retrenched staffers of the old Nigeria Airways but not yet executed.
Founder, The Integrity Group