Nigerians revisit ‘Nigeria Air’ saga as Akwa Ibom successfully launches airline

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Nigerians are criticizing the government over the suspended ‘Nigerian Air’ project after the Akwa Ibom state government unveiled a new airline, Ibom Air on Wednesday.

The first Ibom Air flight lands in Lagos on February 20, 2019

The airline will commence flight operations after the staff training, test run and the regulatory authorities have certified it fit to fly in the Nigerian airspace.

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Emmanuel Udom who is a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), said Aviation development cannot be underemphasized if his vision for an industrialized State must be actualized.

“Having turned the State to an Investors’ haven in less than 4years of my admin.,there is therefore,a strong need to improve infrastructure&facilities in our airport to get the facility ready for the influx of investors,” Udom said in a tweet on Wednesday.

Akan Okon, the state commissioner for special duties and Aviation Development, said constant traffic at the Akwa Ibom airport mandated the state government to join the few airlines operating in the state.

“Ibom Air has come to stay. I am happy to tell you that we have completed recruitment with good number of Akwa Ibom children. The Chief Pilot is from Akwa Ibom. Three aircraft are secured and are ready for commencement of operation. It is completely owned and operated by Akwa Ibom State Government and it will provide 400 direct and indirect jobs,” he said.

The commissioner further said the airline is owned by the Akwa Ibom state government, saying the operations and management would be top professionals with world best practices.

Okon added that the staffs of the Ibom Air, who are presently undergoing training, were recruited on merit.

Meanwhile, the successful launch of Ibom Air has triggered a widespread criticism of the Federal Government over the failed Nigeria Air project.

Today’s Echo had reported on Wednesday, 18th July, 2018, that the Federal Government had unveiled the name of the proposed new National Carrier as “Nigeria Air”

Few months after, on September 19, 2018, the Minister of State Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika disclosed that the Federal Government has suspended the National Carrier, Nigeria Air, procurement indefinitely without giving reasons.

With the successful launch of Ibom Air, Nigerians have slammed the federal government for failing where a state government has succeeded.

See some tweets below:

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