Nigeria wants to run a national air carrier and the government is promising that a new one will begin operations in 2022: “In this 2021, we will try to do all the needful and probably we intend to start operations somewhere around first quarter 2022”. The nation’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced the date while speaking to newsmen after the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
First, I do not think that it is a good idea for Nigeria to float a national carrier at this time. We are yet to know why our previous voyages into this sector failed. Yes, unless we can explain that, going into this again makes no sense. It is simply going to be another avenue to distract the government from focusing on what matters.
While we hope that ticket prices drop, the fact is that the local aviation industry, through the private sector, continues to march on. We do not need the government because its impacts may not really matter. But it will cost the Nigerian people resources which could have been deployed in other areas.
“In this 2021, we will try to do all the needful and probably we intend to start operations somewhere around first quarter 2022,” he said.
“It is still in top gear, we are coming back to Council, hopefully within the next two weeks, to present the memo on the national carrier,” he said.
“We went to Council to approve the outline business case for the carrier and then the Council raised some questions and asked us to go and file the memo again and bring it back.
“So, once it comes back and the outline business case is approved by Council, then, of course, we will now go to the full business case, which is now going to the market and then establishing the national carrier.
“Of course, for obvious reasons, we now have access to equipment, that they will come faster to us, deliveries of the aircraft will be faster, perhaps even the rates might be cheaper and so on, and so forth.”
Today, national carriers thrive based on many factors. The most critical being that airlines are like the double plays to a home one oasis. Emirates runs on the strength of Dubai tourism boom. The Ethiopian Airlines has an edge, as Addis Ababa is the headquarters of the African Union with many natural traffics. More so, Nigeria has no chance to offer cost-efficiency which typically comes via scale, against Ethiopian and other global brands.
Our government while thinking that an airline will bring national pride needs to calibrate on this. Our private sector can serve the nation while the government focuses on making sure our airports run at world-class standards.
But this may not matter since the Attorney General of the Federation believes that banning open grazing in the southern part of Nigeria could be compared with banning spare parts in the northern part: “The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday, slammed Southern governors for banning open grazing in the region. According to the AGF, open grazing ban is the same thing as Northern governors banning spare parts trading in their own region considering the fact that Southerners comprise a majority of spare parts traders in the North.”
His thinking is extremely offensive when you look at individual liberty and property rights. No one says that you cannot do open grazing. What people are saying is that you cannot graze your cattle, and destroy another person’s crops. So, where the cattle cannot stop that destruction, it has to change its process. Equating open grazing to spare parts shows we are fact-free, critical thinking-free, and any attempt to have a national conversation has no chance. So, the national carrier, Nigeria Air, will likely launch.
A governor responded to Malami thus:
His response to Mr Malami was made available to journalists on Thursday morning by his spokesperson, Olabode Richard.
Mr Akeredolu wrote as the leader of the Southern Governors Forum.
He said it is most “unfortunate that the AGF is unable to distil issues as expected of a Senior Advocate. Nothing can be more disconcerting.
“This outburst should, ordinarily, not elicit a response from reasonable people who know the distinction between a legitimate business that is not in any way injurious and a certain predilection for anarchy,” said Mr Akeredolu, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
“Clinging to an anachronistic model of animal husbandry, which is evidently injurious to the harmonious relationship between the herders and the farmers as well as the local populace, is wicked and arrogant.
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