The former Director of Operations, Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), Capt Dele Ore has stated that the sack of 47 pilots December 1988 in one day by the Federal Government in the Liquidated NAL was one of his saddest day in the service.
Ore also said recalled that he was appointed and sacked as the Chief Pilot in the former national carrier thrice by different governments, saying that inconsistency in policy formulation and execution led to the eventual death of the airline.
He said this today in Lagos at the pre-event press briefing of his latest book, ‘The Learned Commander.”
Ore explained that government policy and bad health of some of the pilots led to the sack of 47 in one day.
According to him, the government then had wanted to reduce the workforce of the airline by 50 per cent, adding that before the retrenchment, NAL had about 3,700 staff.
He contended that the sack of the pilots was a step in the wrong direction, which according to him had a negative effect on the entire performance of the airline.
Ore, who became a pilot at the age of 21 recalled that he found it painful that 47 pilots were sacked under his watch in one day, stressing that most of those sacked were already captains, who the Federal Government trained for at least nine years.
He said the 30-chapter book to be presented at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos encapsulates everything about his life from the cockpit to the court room as a legal practitioner.
Ore who participated actively in the Nigerian civil war when he was flying the wounded Biafran soldiers added that his last flight before retiring was “a mutiny,” but he survived it by the grace of God.
On the plan by the Federal Government to establish a new national carrier, Ore stated that appointing foreign technical advisers was a wrong step by the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.
“You don’t need all these financial advisors, advisers, transaction advisers. Where is Dele Ore? Where is Taiwo Adenekan and the like?
“And when the thing is now coming so close to election, it is another agenda. I cannot fault the policy, the plan, but I have always said, may be that is the reason they don’t come to me, we are talking about a national carrier, but I said no, a flag carrier.”
Nigeria, he stated had always have good policy formulation, but lacked the political will to implement most of them, adding as long as there is no political-will, the sector would continue to be stagnant.