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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom has said that the state government spent over N1.2 billion to train the second batch of engineers and pilots from the state with aircraft manufacturers Airbus in a renewed move to reposition and increase the capacity of the state-owned airline, Ibom Air.
Emmanuel, who made this known Tuesday during an interaction with journalists in Uyo, the state capital, said already the first batch of trainees were already undertaking the training meant to provide needed technical personnel in Nigeria’s flagship airline Ibom Air.
The governor, who expressed joy at the strides of the airline within a short time, said the MRO facility at the Victor Attach International Airport in Uyo would be ready before the end of the year and would help in making the state the aviation hub of the region.
He said the inability of the airline to acquire more aircraft was due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine as most financial systems are linked to Russia with the former Soviet Republic, however, facing business and political sanctions and restrictions from many countries of the world.
“The state government is spending billions of naira to train and prepare the best hands of our indigenes for the growing opportunities in the aviation sector and particularly Ibom Air. We have already sent the first batch of engineers and pilots to Airbus and the second batch is preparing to go,” he said.
The governor, however, said his administration has commenced alternative moves to acquire more aircraft to boost the fleet of the airline in order to build on the gains already made by the airline in the country’s aviation sector.