In Response to “Ministry of Transport – Amaechi, Still Discussing with President Buhari on National Carrier”

 

Rotini Amaechi - Minister for transport
Mr Rotimi Amaechi – Minister for transport


“The Ministry of Transport says it has commenced discussion with President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the nation has a national carrier.”

Amaechi said that a lot of investors are interested, so the government will not be fully involved but will provide policies to guide..

I hope Amaechi is not having this discussion with Buhari assuming all that is required is Buhari’s ok for work to state. The decision to have a national carrier belong to the people by way of their representatives. The plan should be vigorously debated and proper rules of engagement set. The taxpayer shall not be required to subsidize the airline in any way. It should be an independent self sustaining and tax paying entity. 

The same goes for the expansion plans for the airports  Airports and Airlines are businesses that can be and are profitable in many countries. Nigerians cannot afford to be investing annually into the same businesses with the same failed management and expect a different outcome.  Any discussion about the fate of thes two entities in Nigeria must include a total replacement and restructuring of the management  The transport ministry shall only serve in oversight capacity.  it should not be running or be involved in running any of these organizations  

Yes, Nigeria’s airports need modernization. The dark dingy passageways must be replaced by open naturally lit passageways. Nigeria is blessed with plenty of sunshine all year round and our structures are built to exclude this source of free energy to light the halls and passageways. Choosing instead to use electricity that is subsequently allowed to fall into disrepair. Yes a national carrier may be necessary but none of these can be allowed to be a sink for the Nigerian taxpayer monies. 

Nigerians cannot be expected to subsidize flying for those  who can already afford it. Nigerians cannot get back into the situation of the previous Nigerian Airways that needed new funds every year, even as they fly regularly and other local private airlines seem to thrive without that government injection of liquidity. A national carrier must be an independent entity that Nigerians will be proud to fly in and not the butt of dinner table jokes.

All that should be expected of the Nigerian people, if it is decided to in with this idea, is to give a time limited tax incentives to investors who know their business and can stand for t up. For the risk they take, they the tax breaks not direct taxpayer investment or any free stuff. Nigeria must have learned from the past madness of running charitable organizations disguised as corporations where all the charity go to a few people tasked with running the organizations. The old NEPA, NITEL, Nigeria Airways all black holes sucking up public funds without care or remorse. 

Nigeria cannot afford to let the same twig to poke it in the eye multiple times. It has to stop.

God bless Nigeria.