I am happy that the Federal government took the decision to halt the establishment of a national carrier because of the timing. In as much as the project was a laudable one, the timing was wrong. The timeline proposed by government to commence the airline was unrealistic, considering the fact that airline required adequate planning if it must work. I believe the government has done the right thing because my biggest fear was that we were going to rush into it and at the end, make a mess of it.
I am not surprised about the development; the suspension is evidence that the promoters of the project did not get their acts right. Why would the project not fail, when the government could not give full disclosure on who the supposed investors were at the time Nigeria Air was announced? Right from that day and with the analysis given by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, I knew something was not right and clear about the project. The promoters could not achieve what they wanted with the project, and that is why it was called off. In the first place, why should the government fund the so-called national carrier and fail to give details on the equity structure? Why should government have allowed competitors to be partners in the new project? All these questionsshould be answered by the Federal Government.
The government suspended Nigeria Air because the December deadline is not realistic. Less than three months to the takeoff of the airline, there is no aircraft, office, managing director, staffs etc to keep the project running. It was just wise for the Federal government to suspend it.
Suspension of Nigeria Air, is absolute nonsense. Our government has failed us again; this project had issues right from the first day it was announced in July this year. The government cannot just come up with such an idea of an airline without due consultations from professionals in the Nigerian aviation sector and domestic airlines. I will say this is another bad policy of the government.
When I heard the news that Nigeria Air will kick-off in December, I was alarmed. The desperation and rate at which the Federal government was doing everything in a hurry before the 2019 elections was alarming. So, the eventual suspension of the airline did not come as a surprise because of all the controversies that surrounded it from the beginning. I knew it was headed for the rocks at the end.
The Federal government realized that the timing of such a project was wrong because they are unlikely going to get the right investors for the airline. Let us not forget that election is coming up next year and there is no way investors will want to put their hard earned money into this project without getting detailed knowledge of the persons who will be running the project. So much money has been expended so far on this project; $8.8 million was earmarked for pre-operational expenses for investor road show and other expenses not known to citizens. Before this project can be continued in the future, we need to know more about who the local operators are.
I will say it is a good thing the Federal government suspended the national carrier project and it is a wise decision. The initial motivation of the project was not known neither was the reason for the suspension clearly stated. The government wasted a lot of money on this project that should have been used for something substantial and beneficial to the country.
The Nigerian government unveiled the name and logo of the new national carrier on July 18 at Farnborough Air Show in London and fixed its launch date for December. Now barely some months to go to the kick off date, it has been suspended. It is really sad and painful how the government is misleading the citizens of the country. Monies have been wasted yet again to pay consultants and on several other things. It is rather unfortunate.
This is a shameful to our country and it shows we cannot rely on our government; they keep misleading us. Nigeria Air was poorly planned and there was no consultation from professionals in the aviation sector. This is where the government all got it wrong. The government has embarrassed Nigeria and I hope foreign investors will not use this against our country later on in the future.
A whooping sum of ₦1.2billion tax payers’ money wasted on the National Carrier Project. The money expended on that project should have been invested in Education and Healthcare development. The government can’t be using citizens’ hard earned money to be executing unnecessary projects. I would suggest that the Minister of Aviation be probed for this failed project.
This is a slap on the government. After all the fanfare and millions of dollars spent in designing a colorless and uninspired logo by a non-Nigerian? There has never been a more disorganized and unprepared government in the world than this government. It is better we use all the resources we have to work on our economy. Also, I knew this project would be of no good right from the day it was launched in July. It came as no surprise to me that it was suspended indefinitely; in the first place, no plane, hanger or office to show, to kick start the project.
I envisaged that the national carrier would not come up and I am glad the project was suspended. What the Minister of State for Aviation should do is explain to Nigerians what the challenges were and engage some Nigerian businessmen and women that have the financial wherewithal to invest in the project. Running to foreign investors at the onset could have been responsible for the failure.
I believe it was honorable, on the part of the government, to suspend the project instead of deceiving Nigerians by using it to campaign for the 2019 general elections. However, I will urge the Federal government not to kill the idea of having a national carrier, considering the resources put in and monies spent so far on the project.
I commend the Federal government for taking the bold step to suspend the project; I know it is in the interest of our country. Though we have lost billions of naira to the failed project which can’t be quantified, money that should have bene spent on our economy. I read a newspaper report of how the analysis of the money lost was spent. The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the contract to design the logo was awarded to a foreign firm, FROM6 Communication in Bahrain, at the cost of $600,000 (about N219 million). The Federal government approved the sum of N1.524,492,863.62 to hire transaction advisers (TA) and other projects for the failed national carrier.Also, the road shows to United States, United Kingdom, signing of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with aircraft manufacturers, technical personnel, transaction advisers, fast-track committee and, possibly, the initial financial commitment out of the $300 million earmarked as five percent for the project by the Federal government and several other millions of dollars.It was gathered that the government was expected to expend $55 million on the project in 2018, $100 million in 2019, while $145 million was expected to be expended on the project in 2020. I feel this is the time government should return to the drawing board to put things in proper perspective.
When this project was launched in July, I felt Nigeria was not ready for a national air carrier because we do not have what it takes as a country yet. I could tell that the airline was off to a bad start. The reason is that the logo looked unfinished, plain and simple. I can bet the logo design did not go through any high professional design process or competition for the best possible design to emerge. Nigeria has some of the best creatives in the world but due to the ineffectiveness of the system, the government will not avail itself with high end professional creative talents in the country. The government as usual probably underestimated the importance of professional creative design input and dictated the logo design or gave the design to an armature or inexperienced designer instead of seeking the services of the professionals such as advertising agencies, design studios etc. and paying a premium price to get the best result. If you plan to set up a world class airline, you start by using the services of international, reputable, professional airline consultants. Consultants would have advised on the appropriate processes which would include an appropriate and distinguished logo design. Also, the project was not planned because resources were not properly put in place. I am happy the airline is suspended. Nigeria Air should go back to the drawing board, invest more in the right process and emerge with a befitting world class airline that can endure and be the pride of Africa and the black race.