Why FG should stop working against domestic airlines

If there is anything that is standing for the governments in places like America, Europe, Asia and Middle East and other developed nations of the world, that thing is patriotism and the over protectionism policy of the governments of these nations when it comes to their own things.

This unique style of governance is responsible for the unbroken bonding between the affected countries and their citizens who are ever ready to lay down their lives for their countries because they know their countries will never compromise their interest for any reason.

Little wonder, these governments and their officials will not under any circumstances sabotage or work against the interest of their citizens including their businesses which they know at the end of the day will be of great benefits to their countries in the areas of employment creation and wealth creation among many other benefits.

This may therefore be responsible for why policy of over protectionism is very common with the various governments running these countries as they will always be ready to defend the investments of their citizens within and even outside their countries.

This patriotic attitude can be observed in the manner home governments of many of the foreign airlines flying into Nigeria are quick to convincing and cajoling the government of Nigeria to give their airlines the soft landing needed to operate profitably in Nigeria.

Such demands which the foreign airlines are reaping from at the expense of the Nigerian airlines include: the disastrous Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), multiple and loose frequencies and obvious preferential treatments which have all contributed to the low performances of the indigenous airlines.

Despite the opposition against these unpatriotic tendencies of the federal government, the officials who should be prevailing on government to promote local content for the purpose of encouraging private investments, have become the crusaders of ‘operation pull down indigenous investments’.

This has again, been confirmed in the recent decision of the Nigerian government to denigrate its domestic carriers who are already on life support in the face of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic preventive measures at a critical time the domestic carriers need all supports.

This act which has been described as unpatriotic and smack of indifference towards indigenous investments reared its head last week when the news broke out that rather than use one or two of the domestic carriers to repatriate stranded Nigerians caught up in the menace of CORONAVIRUS outside the country back home, had jettisoned them for foreign airlines for no just cause.

Though, the minister of foreign affairs, Jeofrrey Onyeama had since attributed reasons behind the action to the fact that the carrier that came from the UAE, Emirates “wasn’t a government organized one and the one from UK was one that was coming already and the one that came from the US was the one that had been arranged”, this excuse however did not hold water as the government should have given priority to the domestic airlines as a way of cushioning the effect of the pandemic and the measures introduced by government which have crippled their business.

This singular decision came at a very wrong time when the domestic airlines which hitherto the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic had been operating under a tight economic hardship but had their problems tripled with the COVID-19 preventive measures introduced by the government which have forced them to suspend their operations for almost two months now.

If a country like Israel could engage Air Peace airline to evacuate its stranded citizens in Nigeria back to Tel Aviv, what is the big deal in using the same carrier to evacuate fellow Nigerians from places like Dubai, China and London?.

The domestic airlines are gasping for live and without serious support from government  this may bring an end to domestic airline business in Nigeria. Because there is nothing wrong in supporting your own, government should learn to promote private investments.




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