Nigeria does not need national carrier —Aviation chief

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole has advised the Federal government to privatise existing 27 airports in the country, adding that Nigeria does not need a national carrier.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin at the weekend, Alhaji Bankole, said that Nigeria had grown beyond getting involved in some certain business concerns.

“On the issue of National Carrier for the country, I will say Nigeria needed not to get involved. We’ve grown beyond issue of government getting involved in certain things. I was in Nigeria Airways for about 30 years. So, I can tell you why airlines fail. 80 percent is government interference. When you own something and you’re not adding to it, it will collapse. Or when you set up a business and there’s no professional or competent hands to run it, it will fail. The allegiance of people you put there are to those who put them there. I put you there, you give me something in return and nothing for development of the project. That’s why business concerns collapse everyday,” he said.

The aviation expert, who said there were only four standard airports in the country; Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Kaduna airports, out of 27 airports in the country, added that the nation’s airports should be developed to attract investment.

“Tourists should be able to even develop what’s called airport investment in every country, where you have restaurants, stores, etc to boost tourism. Situation in some of our local airports is unfortunate. We should commercialise and privatise our airports, and other government businesses so that private investors could come in to bring about the required difference,” he said.

He said every airline stakeholder should aim to set certain standards when starting the business or when planning to stay. “We should be able to comply with rules of the game and be committed to effective operations, to be honest, sincere and prayerful.

Alhaji Bankole, who described 2017 hajj operations between the NAHCON and Med-View Airline as fulfilment of promise made, said that “ once you hold on to promise made, your life will be smooth.

“Allah made it possible to fulfill our promise to people and government. We thank Him. The contract by the National Hajj Commission was given to us to airlift hajj pilgrims from different zones. Over 1000 passengers have been airlifted in Kaduna. Now in Ilorin with inaugural flight of 460 passengers and 220 second departure, we are looking at concluding it on Saturday, August 7. Then we will start Ondo, Ekiti on August 9, 10,” he said.

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