Nigeria Air is a welcome development if it is allowed to grow

Nigeria Air is a welcome development if it is allowed to grow

Nigeria Air is a welcome development if it is allowed to grow. 18th July 2018, saw the launch of the much anticipated Nigeria Air. A national carrier expected to become a national pride, whilst ensuring competitiveness within the aviation industry in Nigeria.

The Nigeria Airways which was liquidated in 2003 saw the country without a national carrier for 15 years and now, the APC led government are seeking to restore our pride. In comes Nigeria Air, expected to kick off in earnest by the end of the year. Kudos should go to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who has seen this dream finally materialize.

The federal government revealed that the airline will start operation by December 19 2018, and the initial startup cost will be $8.8 million with the government providing this sum. It will cost over $300 million in the next three years and the national carrier will have about 30 aircrafts, but will start with 3. The most important part is that the government will have a stake of just 5% percent in the national carrier and will have no hand whatsoever in its management.

The announcement has seen divided opinions and rightly so. There are those who have taken issue with the logo. These are actually not being taken seriously. Then there are those who are more concerned with the deal in its entirety. This school of opinion are skeptical due to past attempts by previous governments and also the failure of the defunct Nigeria Airways.

They also have raised concerns about the involvement of government and a clear lack of preparedness as there are no physical structures, or a management team yet. There are also no clear investors so far aside from the government. The likes of former minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili and an economist whose twitter handle @doubleeph are amongst those have been vocal against the creation of a new national carrier and have tweeted their prayers that the endeavor fails and fails quickly before money is wasted on it. They have come under severe criticism from a “patriotic” citizenry.



Finally we have the proud Nigerian school of thought. So happy that Nigeria is finally getting the national carrier it so “richly deserves”. How dare we call ourselves the giant of Africa and yet we rely on foreign carriers. They have been merciless in trolling and berating those who are opposed to the idea of Nigeria Air.

I have never seen a time when we have not engaged ourselves constructively. In recent climes though, we have become a divided lot and less tolerant of each other’s opinions. It is sad and I hope that soon, we will learn to tolerate our diverse opinions. We have to understand that the arguments of those against does have merit. Their pessimism stems from the past, and if we do not learn from the past, we are bound to repeat the same mistake over and over again.

Nigeria Airways, Virgin Nigeria, (which was subsequently named Nigerian Eagle Airlines and later Air Nigeria) will always serve as a constant reminder of a colossal failure on the part of the government who sacrificed hundreds of millions if not billions to satisfy an egoistic drive, a need for self-adulation. We were burnt twice, can we afford to be burnt the third time?

The collective criticism and praise should be regarded as a guiding path to avoid the mistakes of the past, and i sincerely hope that the federal government will avoid the pitfalls, because Nigeria Air is a welcome development but only  if it is allowed to grow without the attendant problems the past national carriers faced.

If you are interested in knowing what exactly went down regarding the Virgin Nigeria Airline, this thread is a must read





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