NANTA Backs Establishment Of National Carrier

…Says It Will Reduce Influx Of Foreign Airlines
As the idea of whether to establish a national carrier continues to generate discuss, the President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Alhaji Aminu Agoha, has declared that Nigeria and Nigerians need a national airline to reduce the influx of foreign airlines into  the country.
He made the declaration at Aviation Day at this year’s AKWAABA African Travel Market, Eko Hotel and Suite, Lagos.
Speaking further, the NANTA boss argued that Nigeria needs a national carrier not only to serve as the country’s national pride anywhere in the world but to also reduce the influx of international carrier.
“If we have a national carrier, the influx of foreign airlines into the country will reduce. ”he said
He continued, “If you ask me, the dream of any international airline is to operate in Nigeria.”
He further said that one of the numerous problems the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) had was the over dependent on Federal Government funds.
Agoha stated that the proposed national carrier should be private sector driven with little or no equity from the Federal Government.
According to him, “What we are saying is that the planned national carrier should be a private sector driven while the government will have little or no investment in the national carrier.”
He posited that when Nigeria Airways Limited was still operating, travel agencies were paid commission but that all that had gone with the ‘invasion of Nigeria by foreign airlines.
In his words, “We subscribe to national carrier and we believe in it and we know it will succeed.”
Speaking on the issue, the Deputy Managing Director of Arik Air, Capt Ado Sanusi, who stated that statements made concerning the national carrier was his person views, adding that he is not against establishing a national carrier for the country.
He wondered if the country has the capacity afford and maintain a national airline most especially now that the economy seems to be shaky.
Capt Sanusi pointed out that national carrier was not part of the problems of the Nigerian aviation industry, wondering why the country should be talking about national carrier when only recently Nigerian airports were tagged worst airports in the world.
According to him, “Would it be proper to start a national carrier when we don’t have good facilities at our airports? What we do is to address the decaying infrastructure at our airports .Everybody will support national carrier if we can afford and maintain it. But the reality on the ground does not say so.”
On the 1988, Yamoussoukro Decision (YD), that talks about deregulating air services and promoting regional air markets open to transnational competition, he said, “we totally agree with YD but we believe it should be fair.”
The implementation of the Open Skies for Africa; the Yamoussoukro Decision, was brought about following a study that many African countries restrict their air services markets to protect the share held by state-owned air carriers.