The importance of patronizing local products and services cannot be overemphasized as it is one major way to economic growth and development. The economy of any nation advances rapidly when local goods and services are promoted through patronage, first by its people then through export.
In the Nigerian aviation sector, it is however, dispiriting to know that we obviously are not appreciative of what we have. Our domestic airlines don’t enjoy sufficient promotion and encouragement from local consumers.
Currently, Air Peace is presently considered the most successful privately owned airline in Nigeria by virtue of the company’s laudable achievements in the past years. I am particularly interested and neck deep in my advocacy for the protection of Air Peace because it is a significant and strategic economic investment owned by my constituent; Chief Allen Oyema.
Recently we witnessed a situation in the past month where an Air Peace passenger plane experienced a hard landing causing a tyre burst at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Ikeja Lagos. Our local media was awash with negative stories instead of commending the pilot who averted such a potentially tragic occurrence.
Days ago, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 was involved in a peculiar incident as it veered off the runway after landing at Addis Ababa.
Had this happened to a domestic airline in Nigeria, hell would have been let loose by our local media which is supposed to serve as a tool for marketing and protecting our domestic economy.
From all indications, Nigerians are yet to grasp the full advantage of promoting local content patronage in products and services. There is need to embrace attitudinal, structural, and cultural change that would enable our people modify their outlook towards domestic companies and support them to the best of our ability.
Nigeria can easily experience a a major leap in the quest for local content development and a stable, strong and advanced economy if Nigerians would learn to appreciate and promote our local investments. It is important for our people to appreciate our domestic businesses and their contributions to the nation’s economy. Promoting and supporting our Domestic companies is a sure way to reverse our dwindling economic fortunes, not only will poverty be kept at bay in our country but also the teeming youths of working class background would be productively engaged.
It is therefore within this context that it is posited that the promotion and protection of our local investments is tantamount to economic recovery. The need to encourage and promote domestic companies through patronage and media has become imperative to boost Nigeria’s economy locally and at the global scale.
Further aware of the issue of flight delays and cancellations which has gradually become a recurring decimal in the Nigerian aviation sector. In most cases, these delays are caused by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and other factors beyond the control of the airlines. Some of these factors include; bad weather, aerodrome closure as a result of inadequate navigational equipment and technology for takeoff/landing, as well as many other issues bothering on safety. No airline would want to put it’s airplanes and the lives of passengers in jeopardy in a bid to avoid delay.
It is essential for the Airport authorities to take urgent steps in putting adequate infrastructure in place at our airport terminals. These infrastructure includes; Automatic Landing systems to enable airplanes land safely in weather conditions that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to operate in. There is also need for the authorities to ensure sufficiency of multiple scanning machines at screening points for respective airlines instead of the conventional approach of constraining the entire Airlines to use one screening point, this can significantly reduce flight delay.
For the Nigerian aviation sector to thrive in the global economy, adequate infrastructure must be put in place to ensure that we competitively meet up with global aviation standards.
Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Ubah;
Senator Anambra South Senatorial District.