NAN – The All Progressive Congress (APC) has promised to establish a national airline in the country if the party wins the 2015 general elections in the country.
Kano State Governor, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, gave the indication during a dinner organised by the state government to mark the commencement of Ethiopian Airlines operation at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), at the Government House at the weekend.
The governor, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said the move was part of the party’s conscious move to strengthen the national economy and make life better for all Nigerians.
Kwankwaso lamented that despite the importance of aeroplanes in the movement of people, goods and services, Nigeria does not have a national air carrier.
The governor also promised that all international airlines that had been denied permission to operate from MAKIA and other viable routes, under present Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration, would be granted consent to operate, if the APC takes over the mantle of leadership in the country come 2015.
“Airline business is a very lucrative business for both the public and private sectors because it contributes immensely to economic growth and stability of countries besides being a safe, quick, efficient and reliable means of transportation”, Kwankwaso stated, pointing out that it was sad that some airlines were denied permission to operate at MAKIA.
The governor described the denial, which he alleged was designed to stagnate the economy of the country as a very unfortunate, adding that it has affected the development of the aviation sector, assuring that the sector would be better off under and APC administration at the center.
“I appeal to every Nigerian to patronise MAKIA and travel to all parts of the world. We hope that this will help in laying a solid foundation for a better economy for Kano and Nigeria on one hand and the rest of the world on the other in this globalized world,” Kwankwaso emphasised.
On Ethiopian Airlines Kwankwaso described their operations from Kano as a step in building up Nigeria-Ethiopia relations, assuring that the state government would assist in whatever way possible to make their operations hitch free.
He also urged the company to employ Kano State indigenes in various capacities especially in their Kano office.
In his speech, the Ethiopian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Ali Abdo said Nigeria and his country have been friends for a very long time and are committed to promoting harmonious development and improvement of trade and investment links.
He, therefore, appreciated the determination of Federal and Kano governments for making the return of Ethiopian airline to MAKIA possible.
On his part, the Chief Commercial Officer of the airline, Mr. Ato Busera Awel, said the company had 65 aircrafts operating in 49 countries, pointing out that it is only in Nigeria and China that Ethiopian Airlines has four destinations each due to their strategic importance.