Stakeholders in the aviation industry have said the national carrier project recently suspended by the Federal Government was a failure from the outset.
A former Director of Human Resources at the defunct Virgin Nigeria, Victor Banjo, on Thursday said the project lacked the requisite structure for success.
Banjo and other stakeholders spoke at the fourth-quarter quarterly business breakfast meeting of the Aviation Safety Roundtable Initiative in Lagos on the theme, ‘Short life span of Nigerian airlines, the importance of corporate governance’.
He said the proposed national carrier lacked accountability, fairness, transparency and independence.
“From the outset, Nigeria Air was doomed to fail because the four pillars of corporate governance were missing. In terms of transparency, too much was shrouded in secrecy for a project that a huge chunk of taxpayers’ money was about to be committed, and time will tell if it will move from being premature to a stillborn,” he stated.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had in September announced the suspension of the planned national carrier, Nigeria Air, which the Federal Government had said would begin flight operations in December.
Banjo, who is also a former Director General of the Institute of Directors, noted that the national carrier idea was not to launch an airline but might have been for some other purposes not disclosed to the public.
The Director of Studies, Centre for International Advanced and Professional Studies, Prof Anthony Kila, said the Federal Government began the Nigeria Air project without due consultation with stakeholders, adding that failure was guaranteed from the planning stage.
“Nigeria Air was conceived on PowerPoint, shared on Adobe and died on Twitter,” he added.
The President, ARTI, Gbenga Olowo, stated that the announcement of the national carrier shook the industry as it was a vote of no confidence in the existing airlines.
He said the Federal Government should explain to Nigerians if the project had been suspended or not so that stakeholders in the aviation industry could plan better.