Ibom Air: Why We Should Talk About It – Ayobola Eniola
Currently, the aviation industry contributes an estimated $10bn to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).
It is important to remember that the Federal Government had embarked on a similar project when it declared its plans to revive the nation’s national carrier, Nigeria Air, and had gone ahead with preliminary execution plans.
The project was later suspended because the Economic Management Team (EMT) did not approve when it launched. According to a September 19, 2018 report by the Premium Times, the suspension was recommended because the EMT was not in support of the Federal Government setting up the national carrier with public funds.
The launch of Ibom Air makes Akwa Ibom the first state in Nigeria to operate its own airline carrier. Also, it is no small feat to successfully execute a project that was otherwise impossible for the Federal Government with all resources and personnel available at its disposal.
With over 2 million passengers traversing through the nation’s domestic airports, according to Q2 2018 Air Transportation data, the successful operations of Ibom Air will see it transporting a sizable percentage of passengers across the country.
The Industrialization drive of the current administration has yielded successful results via the Syringe manufacturing factory (largest in Africa), Metering Factory, Pencil Factory, Toothpick factory, the Resuscitation of Peacock paint industry, Fertilizer blending factory, Plastic Manufacturing Factory, Flour Mill, Coconut Refinery etc.
These industries, in addition to revenues generated by the Victor Attah International Airport and projected earnings when Ibom Air is fully operational, will increase the state’s IGR and push it forward among other prosperous states in Nigeria, where it is currently ranked 8th.
This feat is commendable, and Nigerians should talk about it for the next couple days before the elections dominate the news again. Other states in Nigeria should take a cue from this achievement recorded by Akwa Ibom state.