Allen Onyema, the Chairman of Air Peace, has revealed that the airline is grappling with financial constraints, with approximately $14 million held up in the Central Bank of Nigeria and around 15 aircraft stranded overseas.
Speaking at the Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual Conference in Abuja, Onyema highlighted the challenges faced by the airline, including hefty spending on maintenance abroad and bureaucratic hurdles in the country.
Onyema shared that Air Peace spent ₦78 billion naira on maintenance in 2022, funds that were directed to foreign nations. He emphasized that Nigerian airlines possess the capacity to thrive but require a supportive government, transparent policies, and a business-friendly environment.
The Air Peace chairman recounted an eight-year-long ordeal of attempting to secure land at Lagos Airport for a maintenance hangar, despite paying over 100 million naira to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). He asserted that a functioning maintenance hangar would contribute to a robust aviation sector by attracting foreign investments and serving as a point for aircraft maintenance by international carriers.
Speaking about the challenges of doing business in Nigeria, Onyema underscored the need for a conducive environment for local investors. He criticized the overtaxation of indigenous investments and the perceived lack of government support, leading to barriers to growth and development.
Onyema called for a stronger political will to address these challenges, urging the government to confront entrenched interests that hinder progress. He also stressed the importance of unity over ethnic divisions, highlighting that such divisions have hampered the nation’s growth.
While acknowledging the inherited governance burden by the current administration, Onyema called for forthrightness, sincerity of purpose, and a resolute political will to ensure Nigeria’s progress. He emphasized the need for collaboration and commitment among government officials, public servants, and all stakeholders to overcome obstacles and foster an environment conducive to growth.
POPULAR THIS MONTH:
BIG STORY: INEC Disabling FCT Results