Lack Of Respect For Agreements Send Wrong Signals To Local, Foreign Investors—Lai Muhammed

* Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed


Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that any government that does not respect its own agreements and laws is sending wrong signals to both local and international communities.

This is just as he acknowledged that there are challenges with capacity building and regulatory framework as it concerns the aviation industry.

He said this while speaking as the guest of honour at the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) quarter two Breakfast Meeting with the topic: Aviation as a Catalyst for Economic Growth at GulfView Hotel and Suites, Lagos.

The Minister said that investors are who invested in the country would like to get return for their money.

Mohammed stated that aviation is a very vital to the growth of aviation, adding that he agrees with the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Aviation Service Limited (BASL), that legal framework regulating the Nigerian aviation industry should be reviewed.

He stated that be that as it may it was not the duty of the other of one party to ensure that the other party to the agreement is well prepared.

According to him, “If you sit down to write agreement, it is not the fault of the other side that you came unprepared or unqualified officers to represent an organisation,”

The Minister posited that Tourism is not a stand alone, as according to him other sectors must work together for the tourism industry to survive.

In his words, “Tourism is not a standalone industry .Other sectors such as Aviation, Interior and Foreign Affairs are so key to tourism. If people cannot obtain your Visa and travel to your country, there is no way tourism will survive. That is the reason the Federal Government introduced the Ease of Doing Business at airports and sea ports, which is beginning to yield positive results.”

On his part, the Chairman of BASL, Dr Wale Babalakin, called on the Federal Governments to always respect its agreements and its own laws, adding that the company had won may cases in court as it concerns the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two(MMA2) but that cases decided in BASL favour had not been respected by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN).

In his words, “A government that does not honour its agreements is not taken seriously by outsiders.” adding that at any negotiation stage government should always bring out its best minds to represent it.

He however stated that the company was waiting for the agency since it was not ready to obey court verdicts on the project.

According to him, “We are waiting for FAAN on MMA2 agreement. If you don’t obey court judgment, Appeal Court ruling, Supreme Court, President, we are waiting for you.”

Babalakin stated that aviation could be a catalyst but that he was not sure whether Nigeria actually keen on the happenings in the industry or whether Nigeria has the skills.

According to him, “If we are, I’m concerned whether we have the skill internally. Many airlines have some and gone, some were celebrated, some were not. Have we researched thoroughly the reasons for their demise? I used to hear a blanket reason that it was the military governments that contributed to their death. But the civilians were the engine room of the military regimes. They were the aviators who did not do the right thing. The military, in active collaboration with the civilians and active collaborators in the aviation industry destroyed the industry.

He continued, “I have seen 11 ministers of aviation with various ideas swinging from left to middle to right and subjecting the participants to the vagaries of their thoughts. I look forward to a big aviation industry in Nigerian but I don’t see the template anywhere.”

He called on the Federal Government to carry out research on why airlines are coming and going

Speaking on the topic, “Safe Airline Operations and Profitable Earnings for Economic Growth” the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Allen Onyema said that there is short supply of integrity in Nigeria, adding that this accounts for why there are various challenges bedeviling the country.

He stated that he decided to set up Air Peace to employ Nigerians and contribute his quota to the Nigerian economy, but added that despite his good intention some people he described as ‘wicked Nigerians’ had wanted to frustrate him.

Onyema lamented that if he had known that he was going encounter mountainous problems he would not have set up Air Peace, adding that the same persons went to the extent of deny him Air Operator’s Certificate(AOC)despite meeting the conditions but that it took the intervention of good Nigerians in the system for Air Peace to secure AOC.

According to him, “If I had known that I was going to encounter mountainous problems I would not have establish Air Peace.”

He stated that despite the challenges he encountered in the process of establishing Air Peace he would forge ahead, adding that  airline should be used as a catalyst to develop the industry.

Onyema commended the Federal Government for introducing the Ease of Doing Business, adding that it has helped to sanitise the airports.

He also commended the Federal Government for approving zero tax for aircraft spares.



Be the first to comment on "Lack Of Respect For Agreements Send Wrong Signals To Local, Foreign Investors—Lai Muhammed"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.