Nigerian government Is killing domestic airlines says Ikhide
By Oyise OGHENE
Chairman of Arik Air, Sir Johnson Arumemi-Ikhide have accused the Nigerian government for purposely killing domestic airlines in the country.
Disclosing this development to newsmen during the 6th year anniversary of the airline, Sir. Ikhide stressed that it was wrong for the government to seek other foreign airlines to come and invest in the aviation industry without first helping its domestic carriers to be viable and strong to compete with other airlines.
He said”the most disturbing thing is that the government is going out to ask foreigners to come and invest in Nigeria and do not take time to understand that those foreigners that you are inviting have their own concessions in their own countries and you want to give those foreigners the concession in Nigeria without giving any to the Nigerian airlines so it is intriguing what the government want to do, to kill Nigerian airlines and bring foreign airlines when those airlines are enjoying some concession in their own country and whereby in Nigeria we don’t enjoy such concession in our own country”
The Arik boss further noted that since the past six years that the airline has been contributing immensely to the economy growth of the country as well as it has boost unity amongst various parts of the country.
“Yes let me say something, the investment is worth it, if you look at it now Nigerians can travel all over the country you know now that there is Ibadan Abuja flight, we have Illorin-Abuja, we have Katsina, we have Gombe, we have all parts of the country, the unity of this country is well assured and as you know Arik promotes unity, our culture, business and economy too it is worth it, one of the biggest reward I got was a card from Maiduguri saying since we have been flying, the number of students dying of road accident have drastically reduced I think that to me, you can’t make human life and then again another rewarding thing is that you find foreign airlines now serving Nigerian food because we started it so yes we must take pride in our own we see some Nigerian cabin crew now in some airlines just because Arik started just like our brothers in AIT they wear Nigerian attire to present so we too are doing the same and then we are showing Nigerian films in an airlines and you know some airlines that were not doing it before have started it so you can see that yes we are setting the pace and it is rewarding but for naira and dollar wise it may not be but as you know airline is a long term investment” he affirmed.