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AON cautions on use of PAYE’s money in funding private sector driven National Carrier

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Chairman AON capt Nogie Meggison addressing members of the media on the current challenges facing domestic airlines in the country.

 

……says process not transparent, shrouded in secrecy

…… question the rationale for including heads of Agencies as Committe members

The Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, wants the Federal Government to explain why it is using Tax Payers Money to fund the proposed National Carrier that is supposed to be private sector driven.

Rising from a meeting of the Chief executives of Airlines today in Lagos, the body said, the establishment of this national carrier had been shrouded in secrecy and lacks transparency in its entirety, adding that using tax payers money and it’s apparatus was not fair.

Addressing the media, the Chairman AON, Captain Nogie Meggison said using tax payers money to set up the national carrier scheduled to commence operations on December 24, 2018 was not only counter-productive, but inimical to the overall interest of the present corp of private entrepreneurs who have invested their hard earned money, time and effort to float their airlines.

Also speaking, a member of the body, Captain Roland Iyayi wondered why government was using it apparatus to establish the supposed private sector driven national carrier thereby becoming a judge in its own matter.

“You as a government, you came in and said you will provide a conducive working environment for a private sector led and driven national carrier system and then you wake up in May 2018 and say in December 24, 2018, the national carrier for Nigeria will start flying, I want to make it clear, there are two different things here, a national carrier and a flag carrier, are you telling me you are going to use tax payers money to promote this? Have you provided infrastructure adequate enough for the current private operators to exist and operate seamlessly?

L-R Mark Snoxell of Donier of kaduna, Capt. Roland Iyayi, TopBrax aviation and Mr. Ewos Iroro at the AON news conference in Lagos

“Now, this national carrier you are bring in, is it going to operate on the moon, if they are operating in the same environment we are going to operate in, what is the difference, are you bringing in human beings different from us, they are coming from Mars to run the airline? Lets be very clear, you bring the DG CAA, the Regulator to be part of the establishing an airline, so, you are now telling me that you want to be a judge in your own matter, you are getting all the Agencies head to be part of a committee for that purpose?”.

“Tell me, is it now that tax payers money is being use to fund a committee to run or set up a national carrier when you are saying that it is going to be private sector driven? He added.

Captain Iyayi said it was not right for the Minister of state, aviation Senator Hadi Sirika to say that the national carrier would become a reality when the framework of how to achieve this had not been known, adding that this was supposed to be the transaction advisers job that were appointed by him.

“government appointed transaction advisers, we were expecting that the transaction advisers will set out the frame work of how this is going to be achieved before we will comment but the Minister jumped the gun by saying that by 24th of December will have this open, in which case there are things that have not been communicated to us which already they know that we do not know”.

“What we are saying is, there is no problem in setting up anything but please, what we are asking for, two things, a level playing field and transparency. So if you are saying to us you want to have a national carrier and they are going to be operating in the same environment as us, what is the yardstick if you are admit that the local airlines are not doing well, the conditions or the factors militating against the local carriers, is it going to be any different from the national carrier because we are going to be operating in the same airspace. So,what is different from them that we do not know and if it is going to be private sector driven we would expected that the same government would say, look AON let us put together this entity, bring your members in to come and take equity out of this entity and I would imagine that the government will be willing to put its might to play the aero politics involved and say okay look, this particular airline we would do for the purpose of being able to reciprocate on our international rights, I don’t even know if that’s the case”.

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