Oby Ezekwesili Gives Reasons Why She Kicked Against Nigeria Air

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While mixed reactions continue to thrill the new Nigeria national carrier, Nigeria Air, the former minister of education and convener of Bring Back Our Girls Campaign #BBOG, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili as she is fondly called, has lent her voice as she kicks against the national carrier, Nigeria Air project.

In a series of tweets via her tweeter handle @obyezeks, Mrs Obiageli, calls the new National Carrier a wrong priority as she wishes the National Carrier to fail.

I actually believe that at some point the Federal Government would have “advised itself” and know that the so-called “National Carrier Project” is a waste. Sadly not so as they are determined on what is clearly a wrong priority. It shall fail. For the sake of the country, it must fail. She said.

She tweeted this on 28 March 2018, but many Nigerians ignored it. The tweet was exhumed when the Minister of state for aviation Sen. Hadi Sirika unveiled the Name, Logo and tagline for the new National Carrier at Farnborough International Public Airshow in London.

The former World Bank Vice President explained why she made the above statement after a Twitter user asked her to withdraw her “It will fail” statement. She maintained that she is still standing on her words that the government has no business owning a National Carrier.

There’s nothing to take back. My March 2018 tweet is where I STAND. ANY WASTE of LEAN PUBLIC RESOURCES for ANY WHITE ELEPHANT project MUST FAIL. We simply CANNOT AFFORD such frivolity in the midst of GROWING POVERTY. So, don’t wait.

You, like some, have still not figured that my position is anchored on my Fundamental Conviction that FG has NO BUSINESS STARTING an Airline BUSINESS into which it has obliged ‘initial capital’ PENDING WHENEVER it can offload 95% of the Company to ‘POTENTIAL Private sector’.

Although, the minister of state for aviation, Sen. Sadi Sirika, made it clear at the unveiling in London that the new National Carrier is purely a private sector affair. He also disclosed that the government has only 5% stake while the private investors take 95%. The government will not be involved in running the Nigeria Air as the private investors will take charge of all that.

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In another tweet, Mrs Oby questioned who the investors are that will invest the remaining 95%. She also questioned why the federal government will acquire aircraft and invest initial capital up to the tune of $300 million. The former World Bank vice president said, if she is the president and her aviation minister presents a memo to set up a national carrier with an initial capital of $300million & acquire aeroplanes, she will sake the minister immediately.

Question: Who makes up the rest 95% of the ‘National Airline’ that you say is for Private Sector?
Minister: We’ve been talking to xxx. We’ve been talking to abc. We’ve been talking to xyz.
I: Haa! Our BLEEDING & LEAN Public Treasury SHALL NOT AGAIN SUFFER HEMORRHAGE. NO!

A National Airline’ which disclosed details raises more questions than they answer. They chorus: ”Yen, yen, yen. FG is only 5% & private sector is 95%.” Which Private Sector, please? What is the Push Factor for FG HASTE in RUSHING a ‘Deal’ it has NOT FOUND the rest 95% owners?

If I were President & my Aviation Minister sent me a Memo asking for my approval to set up a ‘National Airline’ with initial capital of FG’s $300million & acquire aeroplanes, I will instantly send him a reply. It will be Goodbye. Pls hand over the Ministry to the Perm Sec.

A BOGUS PLAN to WASTE up to $300M on a grandiose ‘National Airline’ Project has awakened some of you to debates even if it laced with abusive words. I LOVE THAT YOU ARE ACTIVELY ENGAGED. I have made my point. Make yours too.

Waste of time and resources by the FG.@AsoRock. Remind me again what Bill Gates told them about wrong priorities? How in the world can FG’s greatest plan in Aviation Sector in 2018 be The establishment of a “National Carrier”? What a disaster.

The former minister of education, Mrs Oby, however, advises the federal government to focus on policy, regulatory, safety and standards right in the aviation sector as she sees the project as a campaign strategy.

The Aviation sector SADDENS me greatly. This is a sector that with the right policy & regulatory framework complemented with quality safety standards & security infrastructure will SURELY attract global capital. But NO. Lovers of the Statist system want to give us “National Carrier”.

A “National Carrier” DOES NOT BY ANY ECONOMIC MODELING” rise up to the high ranking of a PRIORITY that this FG .@AsoRock @NGRPresident @MBuhari is according it. Leave this to the PRIVATE SECTOR! Get the Policy, Regulatory, Safety and Standards RIGHT in Aviation. That’s FG ROLE.

As emotionally uplifting as it may sound to some citizens or even ‘economically viable’ to others (Some people say, “it will create jobs”), setting up a ‘National Airline’ should NOT make the LIST OF TO DOs in our Aviation Sector. Follow my RT of my old tweets on this, next.

Other than the repair of the Abuja Runway (which I commended for keeping with the deadline) I am interested in learning of the Program of Reforms that is being delivered in the Aviation Sector. Let’s all learn about Reforms. Don’t bother throwing a ‘Nigeria Airline’ tantrum here.

All the Contradictions and Opacity that are driving the Grandiose Election Year ‘National Airline’ project are all too OBVIOUS for all to see. Some have chosen their own optical illusion. Just know you are entitled to your Joyride but it won’t be by WASTING SCARCE RESOURCES.

Mrs Oby added that she will remain unpatriotic if been patriotic means supporting anything even when they are not viable.

If optimism and patriotism mean endorsing what appears like a patchwork of grandiose return to those woebegone eras of Nigeria Government’s tragic adventure in Business, please feel free to call me whatever you choose; but I shall not partake of your Kool-aid.

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