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WHY NIGERIA AVIATION IS IN DOLDRUMS

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The story of investment in Nigeria has been that of sorrows, blood and tears including gnashing of teeth. From Richard Brandson’s Virgin Nigeria deal to the local concessionaires that were engaged to prop up the fortune of the aviation sector, it has been disappointment galore. While some contracts were abruptly terminated in the most shoddy way, others like Pan Express which was found to have been unjustifiably deprived and was recalled is still finding it difficult to regain entrance in spite of the company’s enormous financial and professional contribution to the cargo sector of the aviation industry.

As we speak, the aviation minister is abroad with all manner of people from Nigeria, conducting a road show, which is her own idea of attracting investors. In her estimation, by the time the show is ended, investors would be falling over themselves to invest in the aviation sector in Nigeria. This is novel indeed.

But would the road show prevent these targeted foreign investors from knowing that the state of insecurity in the country is not friendly to investment? With all these industrial inconsistencies, who will be willing to invest with FAAN still around simply because they have seen the beautiful face of the minister smiling at them as she dances through the streets of New York and other choice cities of the world ahead of her delegation?

Would the minister also tell his hosts the gory state of aviation infrastructures in Nigeria? Would they know that conveyor belts do not work and that it takes passengers more hours to collect their luggage after landing than it does for the journey itself? What about the rampant cases of bird strikes?

She probably doesn’t know or care that no serious foreign investor will go into any country without doing due diligence. She may also not know that the information she provides will be verified to ascertain the authenticity. Probably, our minister may have forgotten that all the ambassadors of various embassies from different countries represent their investors and that these ambassadors know us inside out?

Or do you think that the foreigners do not know that once an aircraft crashes in Nigeria, the first thing our government does is to close the company down. It is never known in the annals of aviation practice that if an Air France or British Airways crashes, the government of their home countries will close them down.

But, in spite of all of these, the Oyibo man will chose to play along with her.What would be the need of scaring her away when the foreign exchange she and her people had brought on shopping would help in paying workers, who will in turn pay taxes that would help in providing social amenities and ensuring that their social security system remained functional.

I think the time has come to don our thinking cap and do things right. Let us keep our house in order and treat our local investors aright. It is when we are seen doing the right thing by respecting contractual agreements and putting our infrastructures right that will determine our aviation industrial growth. A stitch in time, they say, saves nine.

Written By Gboyega Adeoye Normal 0 false false false

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