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Nigeria Continues to Grapple with the Concept of a Proposed National Carrier

In July 2018, Nigeria embarked on a journey to penetrate the global aviation market, with the unveiling of the nation’s proposed national carrier. Five years later, the proposed national carrier landed at Abuja Airport, evoking a range of emotions among Nigerians. But it was borrowed from Ethiopian Airlines and rebranded as Nigeria’s. One would wonder why a country like Nigeria, with its dwindling resource, need a national carrier when it has survived without one for years. However, there are compelling reasons to consider. First, a national airline catalyzes economic growth and development. Moreover, the establishment of a national carrier allows countries to retain revenue that would otherwise be lost to foreign operations. Nigeria for instance, loses about $ 2.3 billion on annual capital flights to foreign airlines. Also important is the fact that a national carrier helps facilitate the repatriation of citizens during crises, ensuring their safe return home.