November 17, 2023

Nigeria doesn’t need national carrier – Allen Onyema

Nigeria doesn’t need national carrier – Allen Onyema

The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyeama said Nigeria does not need a national carrier, considering the difficulties of running such a business.

Onyema stated this in an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday.

Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had launched a national carrier, Nigeria Air, but was suspended by the government of President Bola Tinubu about two months after it took over power.

The Air Peace chief, who described the idea as moribund and a drain pipe, said the government has no business having a national carrier.

“Does Nigeria actually need a national carrier? It’s an emphatic no. The national carrier thing connotes government ownership. 

“The government has no business doing the business of commercial airline operations. The national carrier thing is a moribund idea that has been jettisoned several decades ago by countries.”

According to him, several airlines that bear country names are just “flag carriers” and not owned by nations as many may have assumed.

“In the olden days, they used to be owned by governments, but they are all divested. They are all flag carriers. Why is my country going backward? In 2023, talking about national carriers.”

Onyema noted that the few African countries with national carriers are those “that cannot afford business entrepreneurs with the right funding.”