A former Director of Operations, of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), Captain Dele Ore, has said while the plan to float a national carrier for Nigeria was a good idea, it was wrong for the federal government to appoint a foreign technical adviser for the project.
He said Nigeria has experienced persons government needed to render such service to in the country and noted appointing foreign personnel or organisation was a waste of resources and not giving Nigerians the opportunity to serve the country.
Ore, made this known in Lagos at the pre-event press briefing on his latest book, ‘The Learned Commander.’
“You don’t need all these financial advisors, advisers, transaction advisers. Where is Dele Ore? Where is Taiwo Adenekan and others? I cannot fault the policy, the plan, but I have always said, maybe that is the reason they don’t come to me, we are talking about a national carrier, but I said no, a flag carrier.”
He, however, said Nigeria always had good policies, but lacked the political will to implement most of them, stressing that until the government deployed the political-will, the sector would continue to be stagnant.
Ore who worked for the defunct airline for over three decades said the most traumatic experience he ever had while in the national airline was the sack of 47 pilots in one day by the federal government and described the experience as his saddest moments in the service.
Ore, also recalled that he was appointed and sacked as the chief pilot in the former national carrier thrice by different governments, saying that inconsistency in policy formulation and execution led to the eventual death of the airline.
According to him, the government as a policy then, had wanted to reduce the workforce of the airline by 50 per cent, stressing that before the retrenchment; the airline had about 3,700 staff.
He noted that the sack of the pilots, which took place in December 1988, was a step in the wrong direction, which had a negative effect on the entire performance of the airline.
Ore who became a pilot at the age of 21 recalled that he found it painful that 47 pilots were sacked under his watch in one day, stressing that most of those sacked were already captains whom the federal government trained for at least nine years.
He said the 30-chapter book to be presented at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos encapsulates everything about his life from the cockpit to the courtroom as a legal practitioner.