A former member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Awwal Tukur, has said that Nigeria must have a strong national carrier for it to compete. He also advised the Federal Government to privatise most of the nation’s airports for improved revenues.
Speaking with New Telegraph, Tukur also insisted that it was the job of the government to promote and regulate the national carrier economically. According to him, the economic benefits of a national carrier to the nation include revenues generation, training of technical personnel for the industry and employment of young and capable hands.
“We need a strong carrier and it is the job of the government to promote and regulate it economically. “Strong carriers which are Nigeria’s, I think is what I will go for, including how the Federal Government wants to bring up the new national carrier, and we will give our support as Nigerians,” he said.
Tukur also stressed the need to make the country’s airports functional for competitive purpose. He decried that lots of the country’s airports had not grown with the size of the population base. “Even the toilets were designed for certain number of people and by the time that number exceeds, you cannot cope, there will always be problem.
“The runway system, the checking counter is the same thing, so our facilities have not grown with our population base,” he said. He advised the government to be more proactive, less bureaucratic by privatising the airports and getting it off central control.
Tukur opined that if government regulates the airports, gets lots of private sector involved and become proactive, the entire industry would move from its present state to a more improved environment. He further urged the government to take seriously the implementation of policies it is taking in the industry, saying that slow implementation of policies would slow progress.