Is FG still floating a new national carrier?

January 23, 2020
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IN a normal clime, public office holders including the political class are meant to be representatives of the generality of their citizens or their constituents. In other words they are to be the eyes and ears of those who elect them to the various positions they occupy.

As expected, the people having elected this group of people, therefore expect much from them otherwise anything short of this is a waste of efforts which subsequently leads to the dashing of a high hope.

In the developed countries around the world, those occupying these positions dare not embark on any project as little as it may be without carrying their citizens along. This simple policy has been making the systems there to work with little or no suspicion but with absolute confidence and transparency in the workings of their systems.

As simple as this logic is meant to be and for the obvious reason that the ability of those in these various positions in other climes to apply this, is responsible for making governance rewarding, unfortunately, the reverse has continued to be the case in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, it is no longer news to see how those in government or occupying political positions treat Nigerians as second class citizens and unintelligent lot whose contributions therefore do not matter when issues concerning their future are being taken.

This abuse of office which has continued to be the bane of the entire system particularly the country’s aviation sector is still continuing unabated.

The commonest reason often given for keeping essential information from Nigerians by the government and political office holders is that they want to keep saboteurs away.

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Yes, keeping saboteurs away is in order, but it becomes abnormal if because of few imaginary saboteurs majority of Nigerians are treated as nonentities who do not deserve to know when major decisions affecting them are being taken without carrying them along.

This brings to the fore, the hanky panky style so far engaged by the Federal Government through the Minister Of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in the lingering move to float a new national carrier for the country 17 years after the unjust liquidation of the former carrier, Nigeria Airways.

Prior to the announcement of the present government, in its first term to float a new national carrier, the previous government of Jonathan Goodluck made some efforts which did not materialise despite the huge tax payers money pumped into it.

Hope of Nigerians which was rekindled with the declaration of the present government to meet the yearnings of the flying Nigerians in this area, however became dashed at a critical time after so much efforts had been put in including the launch and the unveiling of the new national carrier at the Farnborough Air Show in London two years ago.

Many reasons were given by the minister for the suspension of the move, but not without assuring Nigerians that the position to embark on the policy would still continue.

Since the re-election of the government and the reappointment of the minister, stakeholders have expressed displeasure with what they termed the hide and seek game that the government is again applying to the project.

Questions presently running through the minds of many key players in the sector include: whether the plan to float a new carrier is still on the agenda of government; government’s financial commitment; type of the national carrier; the technical partners; conditions for would be shareholders; the position of Arik and Aero Airlines and why the whole process is shrouded in secrecy.

The government through the minister needs to answer these questions as it will give room for transparency and confidence. Making this project transparent will not only reduce the ongoing mistrust and suspicions, it will only give government the soft landing in the face of any hitch or challenge and above all, National carrier is a national issue hence; since every Nigerian has equal right on such, they need to be carried along after all.

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