President of the Aviation Round Table (ART), Gabriel Olowo has backed the position of airline operators on the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) stating that Nigerian airlines and the nation’s economy will remain at a disadvantage.
In his personal submissions made available to Nigerianflightdeck.com via mail, he however said the world would not continue to wait for Nigeria to get it right because the countries business environment inhibits the evolution of strong carriers.
Olowo who said that the AON’s arguments were brilliant, sound and forever valid; however, said the airlines, despite government’s negligence, should have been proactive to evolve solutions to grow themselves.
His words,” Nigeria, its Airlines and the economy will remain disadvantaged AS IS to Europe, Americas, Near & Middle East and Asia as long as stake holders (Government & Operators) lack the will to evolve strong players in the sector.”
“In the event that government is not forthcoming with solution to the myriad of problems rightly identified by AON, why shouldn’t operators be innovative enough to evolve synergistic solutions derivable from collaborations, mergers and or acquisitions rather than the current parasitic competition going on in the market place as it were in last 4 decades? Small and Disunited Carriers!!!”
“But Africa will not continue to wait for Nigeria when the rest of the world is progressing with open skies and free market economies just because Nigeria Airlines and its business environment inhibit the evolution of strong carriers.”
“The truth is ICAO and IATA are pushing for it, ditto other strong economic partners of Nigeria and it will happen sooner than later. We must put our acts together if we also don’t want to continue to lose in Africa with negative balance of trade as it were presently with other markets.”