Soremekun writes Keyamo, seeks national carrier for Nigeria, laments decrepit MMIA

A don, Prof. Kayode Soremekun has penned a memo to the newly appointed Minister of Aviation, Mr. Keyamo expressing disgust at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos terminal, stressing that as a fairly frequent traveler, he feels diminished anytime he gets to the terminal.

He also noted that as one of his priorities, Nigeria ‘must’ have its own national airline, adding that one of the best ways to do this is for the Minister to have a sustained interaction with members of the Aviation Round Table (ART).

The ART according to him is a body of Nigerians, veritable stakeholders who have solid ideas and experience as regards how the aviation industry should be run.

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The Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) terminal is at best one of the worse airport terminals in Africa. The airport in all honesty has outlived its usefulness.

The airport terminal is what you use in judging any nation because the very first impression starts from there.

When the airport terminal was commissioned in 1978, even up to late 1990, it was processing just about 200,000 passengers in a year.

Successive governments did not see the need to save us the shame of having a facility that had long outlived its usefulness. It is hoped that the incoming government would see aviation as a sector that requires declaring an emergency just like some few other sectors that equally require urgent attention.

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Soremekun, a Nigerian academic, author, and the third vice chancellor of Federal University Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State stated that many international airlines have emptied themselves into Nigeria, adding that on the other hand, Nigeria lacks the capacity to reciprocate.

He however doubted the capacity of the country’s airlines to compete with their foreign counterparts because of the huge cooperation that exists amongst them.

To this end, he said it has become extremely important for the country to think of a national carrier that would help not only the country’s aviation development but would help to keep some shares of the market from international carriers.

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Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

 

He further reiterated that experienced journalists in the aviation industry are also well-placed to offer ideas as regards how the industry can assume a new momentum.

“If the new Minister takes to this advice, chances are that his learning curve will be very short and in the process, he will achieve a lot for Nigeria in this vital sector.”

Wole Shadare