Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
As the federal government seeks to resume talks on the establishment of a national carrier, stakeholders in the tour and travel services industry have urged the government to consider the interest of Nigerians before signing any agreement.
The idea of national carrier, according to the Operations Manager/Human Resources, DL Travels And Tours, Gloria Nneka Obiora, was a brilliant idea.
According to her, “I believe what created the initial hiccups in the making of the project in our own opinion as tours & travels service operators, was no proper agreement between the stakeholders and investors in the project.”
Obiora opined that, “government wanted to have certain stakes in the project, they sought certain investors outside the country, but along the line, it seems there was a break in the agreement to make the project to become a success.”
She added that, the announcement of the plan for the national carrier earlier was premature.
“Government went to UK to reveal the logo and revealing the logo alone is not for the national carrier project to kick off.
“They were still on the discussion table with stakeholders and the Ministry of Aviation went to London to reveal logo when the agreement were not even properly signed, when investors have not even agreed on certain terms & conditions. I think that was what crashed the idea.”
Obiora, told THISDAY that for operators, “we believe that it will increase our revenue if Nigeria air project comes alive. Look at it this way, most airlines that comes into Nigeria, they repatriate these funds back to their countries, take for instance, British airways repatriates all funds, not matter the patronage, our service providers got just peanuts.
“But, if we have indigenous airlines, the tour operators Association of Nigeria, the NATA and NATOP will be key players in the Nigeria Air project.”
She further observed: “We believe it is going to drive our revenue because most of the air carrier has stop giving commissions to agencies and to service providers. So, we believe that, if Nigeria Air project is realised, it will increase our revenue generation.
“The project is also going to help increase job opportunities for so many youths that are passing out of the aviation industries will have were to go as it will also enhance, the tour operators that are partnering with them,” the DL Travel and TOURS, operation manager said.