Nigeria Air: From Dream To Reality

Most conceptions in Nigeria especially in the public sector had been shrouded in mystery laced with unrealisable dreams, especially when it has to do with public service, where the general belief is planning, with less emphasis on execution or achieving results.

But, for the Aviation Ministry, the mix in experience and exposure of the current handler and Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika both from private and public sector, had paid off finally, and have now gotten a replacement for the defunct ‘Nigeria Airways’ as national carrier with the birth of ‘Nigeria’ Air in June this year, 2022 after a long dream conceived by the Aviation Ministry, seven years away and precisely in 2015.

Worried by the level of decadence and non participation of Nigeria in the running of airlines many decades after the Nigeria Airways aircraft was sold to private airliners, to discourage the continuous running of government wholly in the day to day affairs of business of the airline.

Subsequent Nigeria government found it difficult to replace the defunct ‘Nigeria Airways’, many decades after, not until the Pilot Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika came on board in 2015.

Determined to change the tide and extricate Nigeria from the embarrassing trend and operations of other countries’ airlines plying the country, Hadi relived the spirit and kept the ball rolling to make a replacement without further delay.

With over 7 million passengers flying Nigerian airports and over IM trips made by both domestic and foreign airlines over the years to Nigeria from countries, the need to launch another revised form of exploits and explorations by Nigerian government, through the initiative of another national carrier known as ‘Air Nigeria ‘ cannot be over- emphasised.

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With the current leadership in the Ministry of Aviation powered by the Distinguish senator Hadi Sirika, outstanding payments and financial commitments of staffers of the defunct national carrier, ‘Nigeria Airways’ had been cleared hence giving a clean slate to launch a new national carrier. ‘Nigeria Air .’

With the launch of ‘ Nigeria Air’ in June, no doubt the Aviation industry, though not wholly a public entity from the approach and new design of the new national carrier, it will create not only employment opportunities to Nigerians whose current job losses stood at 33% according to National Board of Statistics NBS, with a double digit inflation rate at precarious levels in the last two years post COVID, and unreliable GDP that had not stand the current economic realities.

The launch was weighed down by the lockdown as a result of COVID-19 that ravaged many counties before now, and the wisdom of the Aviation Ministry to bail out some local airlines, it became obligatory on the government to establish and realise the dream of a national carrier soonest.

Coming from a distinct professional, astute administrator and outstanding public officer of note, the new arrangements and policy thrust of the new national carrier, ‘Nigeria Air’ was a departure from the pitfalls of the defunct national carrier, ‘Nigeria Airways ‘, that will guide against any future eventualities from insolvency, mismanagement and maladministration.

Sirika’s pet project that had given the managers of the Aviation Ministry under his leadership sleepless nights was the debut of ‘Nigeria Air ‘, geared towards full deregulation of the industry with a view to realising it’s full operational guidelines.

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With the concession arrangements at top gear and the concession of 17 Nigerian Airports, no doubt both local, international and national carriers will display it’s full potential through efficiency, professionalism, service delivery and best practices.

With the launch of the new national carrier, ‘ Nigeria Air ‘, it will be the birth of a new chapter in the Aviation industry more than six decades into Nigeria independence, that was characterized with both private, commercial and moribund national carrier, the Nigeria Airways.

The giant strides of Senator Hadi Sirika, the Nigerian Minister of Aviation, will remain unrivaled and unsurpassed, many years after the end of the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that spanned between 2015-2023.

This has brought to an end, criticisms, cynicisms and the activities of naysayers who never saw anything good in convening a new national carrier under the current dispensation.

For Sirika, aside being a professional, expert and administrator in the Aviation industry, he had written his name in gold in the annals of Nigeria history, that may not be surpassed many years to come.

ABUBAKAR YUSUF, A Public Affairs Analyst Writes From Abuja, All inquiries to:

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