House seeks re-establishment of national carrier

By Lawan Hamidu, Abuja

The House of Representatives has urged the Nigerian Government to set in motion measures aimed at establishing a national carrier for the country.

The resolution followed the adoption of the motion seeking for government’s re-establishment of the carrier.

Failure to sustain airlines
A member from Borno State, Asabe Bashir expressed concern over the inability of previous administrations to sustain the operations of the airlines.

Bashir lamented that the “Absence of a national carrier, the nation’s huge aviation market has been dominated by foreign airlines that had been reaping enormous bounties from the aviation market that is ranked among the largest in terms of travels by the citizens.

Some of the foreign airlines have closed operations on the Nigerian route while others have increased their fares and are struggling to survive because of the high cost of forex and the unstable foreign exchange rate due to the prevailing foreign exchange policies which have made it unprofitable for them to repatriate their profits to their home countries.”

Redirection of the aviation market
The House believes that floating a national carrier will redirect the aviation market in favour of the country, lower the cost of air fares, create employment for thousands of Nigerians and contribute to the revenue base.

The lawmakers recalled that the Airways which was established on August 23, 1958 as a National Carrier. It made first flight on October 1, 1958 using a BOAC Stratocruiser from London to Lagos, operated proudly Nigerian, reaching its height in the 1980s with scheduled flights across Africa, Europe and America with a compliment of over 8,500 workforces and a fleet of about 30 aircrafts.

Mercy Chukwudiebere