Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah has expressed Government’s dissatisfaction that only three airlines are visibly operating scheduled passenger services in the country, stating that that entire misnomer will soon change for the better.
She made this known early in the week, when the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) was commissioned by the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim.
According to the Minister, government is pained about this situation but has put together a strategic plan in the road map of which growing domestic airlines is fifth.
She said, “Well, I will tell you that government is not happy about it either, we were all very sad about it but because this is a strategic government, we have in place a plan, a very strategic plan that is sustainable and that will be fundamentally very strong.”
“If you look at our roadmap, it clearly states on the fifth number of it, it says growing domestic airlines and in growing domestic airlines, we don’t want to go into it without having a proper plan in place, the plan is to make sure we use different things, number one we use our BASA to partner our domestic airlines with international airline operators, so that we can increase their capacity number two is to have proper utilization of the intervention fund, where the Federal Government will pay direct to the manufacturers and the manufacturers will in turn give aircraft to Nigerian operators”
“And when that happens, you will have a win win for all, the public will have a very safe aircraft to use and a lot of them for that matter so they can plan their itinerary properly and air travel will become and remain the preferred mode of transportation, the owners of the aircraft will have ring around their revenue, so they will ensure that we don’t have a situation where aircraft are been return at will because people are not paying back the owners of those aircraft, so we will ring that around and the revenue goes straight to the owners”
“So tomorrow if you become an airline operator you won’t have any issue because you are from Nigeria so all these are in place, we are waiting for final approval to make it all work, so you will see more healthy domestic airlines operating in Nigeria, we are really working very hard to make that come through.”
“We are also working on the National carrier, we are hoping that once we get the final approval, we go through the process, it will be a very transparent process so that every one can participate in that process.”