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Aviation: There’re more beside meeting the transport needs—Akwaaba Travel boss

Nigerian travel business consultant and founder, Akwaaba Travel Tourism Market (ATTM), Ikechi Uko, has raised an issue of urgent national importance, saying “It was high time Nigeria defines the purpose of aviation outside of meeting the transport needs alone.”

Making presentation at a recent stakeholders meeting of the LAAC Forum designed to chart path to an enviable air travel sector, Uko revealed that what made Dubai thick is not only the aviation hub, but supporting travel tailored businesses that derive their lifelines from the aviation hub status of the Middle East city.

According to him, “Aviation in Dubai is tailored towards tourism for national development and strategic economic positioning. It is, therefore, a little wonder that Dubai is a global hub and the fourth most visited city in the world. Qatar is another example of countries that have used aviation for strategic diplomatic and economic prowess.

Continuing, he said “Indeed, all medium-powers use aviation as a soft power tool for global positioning or economic development. Why do we do aviation in Nigeria? Nobody has defined a need outside transport. But without a well-defined business case captured in a national development master plan, we will keep going round in circles.

In his submission, Uko averred that “Aviation policy makers need to discuss with economic planners and tourism stakeholders to develop a workable and sustainable plan for growth then aviation in Nigeria will thrive.”

Akwaaba Ikechi Uko
Travel business consultant and founder, Akwaaba Travel Tourism Market (ATTM), Ikechi Uko

Corroborating Akwaaba Travel Tourism Market boss position, the Chief Executive Officer of Topbrass Aviation Services, Capt. Roland Iyayi, stressed that the major challenge of the sector had never been policies, but the burden of their inconsistency.

According to him, “To grow aviation there has to be a deliberate and consistent policy geared towards ensuring that the airlines, who are the primary players in the industry can actually survive.

“That you have airlines failing is not because they can’t run the business. It is because the environment in which they operate is extremely harsh and not even conducive for growth,” Iyayi argued.