The Chairman of the Committee for the Establishment of a National Carrier, Capt. Abdulsalam Mohammed, has said that the Federal Government has commenced the implementation of the committee’s recommendation on the establishment of the national carrier.
Capt. Mohammed, now the Rector, Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, spoke in an exclusive interview with the editors of the Daily Trust at the newspapers corporate head office in Abuja where he said that President Muhammadu Buhari was not having second thoughts on the establishment of the national carrier.
He said his committee’s recommendation was definite about the prospects of a national carrier, albeit public-private sector driven.
“We interacted with those for and against it. But the majority was for it.
“The only way we can move aviation forward is through the establishment of a national carrier. The private airlines do not have the capacity required for the infrastructure changes that we need; the huge investments in training and establishment of facilities,” he said.
He said, “Since the demise of Nigerian Airways, we have had private airlines but they haven’t been able to build the capability the Nigerian Airways had. In fact, they are still relying on what Nigerian Airways had.
“We have large number of unemployed pilots. No one wants to employ them because they are inexperienced. But when you have a national carrier, all the people who are working in the private airlines will want to join the national carrier. This will free the other airlines to employ the several pilots that are unemployed,” he stated.
According to him, “there will be a lot of employment opportunities. An airline drives the economy of a nation. You may not necessarily make money from the airline but you will make money from other areas that the airline drives like tourism.