Chairman, Board of Directors for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, has criticised the decision to liquidate Nigerian Airways in 2003 at a stage it was very glaring that the assets of the erstwhile national carrier far outweighed its liabilities.
Ndoma-Egba stated this at a speech delivered at the 42nd Annual General Meeting of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) held in Port Harcourt over the weekend.
Ndoma-Egba in a paper titled, “The Symbiotic Relationship of Aviation and Tourism: The Key to Economic Stability”, noted that the liquidation of Nigeria Airways has greatly hampered efforts to tap the country’s aviation and tourism potential in line with the contemporary trends in countries like Ethiopia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Kenya.
Ndoma-Egba decried the low utilisation of Nigeria’s aviation and tourism potential. He said efforts must be made to float a national carrier that would be made to integrate with the tourism, creative arts, entertainment, and hospitality industries.
“The decision to liquidate Nigeria Airways was impulsive, unfortunate and a most regrettable decision, more so given its assets and international spread of these assets,” said Ndoma-Egba.
“Aviation and tourism are major drivers of any modern economy. In countries with successful aviation and tourism industries, both are embedded in each other seamlessly. There must therefore be sustainable and clear policies and plans – short, medium and long term plans – for each of them and more importantly, on how to integrate both.
“We must therefore have forward looking policies designed to integrate both to upgrade our national airports to make them competitive. Countries in the West African region like Togo, Ghana and Senegal are making heavy investments in aviation infrastructure including airports and will become hubs sooner than later.
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