Since the liquidation of Nigerian airways in 2003, successive administrations have pondered on the idea of floating a national carrier. This has not resulted in something concrete as the giant of Africa cannot boast of one.
Smaller African countries like Ethiopia and Kenya own Ethiopian and Kenyan airlines respectively. And you begin to question why Nigeria, one of the most attractive African destination does not have one. In line with this, here are 5 reasons why Nigeria needs a national carrier.
Promote Nigeria’s tourism industry
Tourism is huge in Nigeria. There are tourists attractions scattered all over the nation from the Yankari Games reserve in the North to the Obudu Cattle Ranch in the South, Ogbunike Cave in the East and the Idanre Hills in Ondo. One way to promote these destinations is via the national carrier through promotional materials like videos, flyers, photos and exclusive discounts to visit these sites. A national carrier will be committed to the promotion of Nigeria’s destination than the privately run airlines.
Reciprocate Bilateral Air services Agreement (BASA)
Bilateral Air Services Agreement is an accord nations sign, allowing international commercial air transport move between territories. For now all the BASA agreements signed by Nigeria favours other countries due in part to the fact that she doesn’t own a national carrier. In 2015, Nigeria penned 15 BASA agreements and has signed over 78 so far and just a handful is reciprocated by Nigeria. The agreement is lopsided. With a national carrier, Nigeria can reciprocate these agreements.
Earn Foreign Exchange
Foreign exchange is scarce in Nigeria today. The government of the day will tremendously appreciate all avenues to earn foreign exchange. The establishment of the national carrier is one of those avenues. In establishing of the carrier, majority of the stake in the airline will be privately owned while the role of government will be largely supervisory and regulatory.
Symbol of National pride
Emirates, Etihad, and South African airways et al are among internationally recognized airlines in the world. Each airline is a symbol of National pride for their respective nations. Citizens of these countries always want to associate themselves with their airlines. It is also a source of good international relations. Nigeria and Nigerians will feel this way if and when a National Career-Air Nigeria is established.
The erratic and indiscriminate change in airfares experienced with private airlines will not be applicable to Nigeria’s national carrier. The air fares will be affordable for every Nigerian and airfares will remain stable.