SW States Urged to Establish O’odua Airlines

The six South-West states have been urged to establish O’odua Airlines dedicated to local and international routes.

In a statement made available to the media on Tuesday, the Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movements (AYDM) said the initiative had a very high prospect of viability.

The statement signed by AYDM General Secretary, Popoola Ajayi contended that the O’odua Airline would complement existing private initiatives which would ultimately lead to cut in air travel costs, job creation and improvement in tourism and agriculture in the region and in Nigeria as a whole.

The group said it had already sent letters to the state governors, urging them to embark on the initiative.

‘We call on the Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ekiti and Ondo to begin the process of creating O’odua Airlines. This is of utmost priority. There are some 10million Nigerians living in West Africa among whom over three million Yoruba people are resident in Ivory Coast alone.

“In Europe and America, the Yoruba and NIgerians have the largest population of black people. In UK alone, there are no fewer than one million Nigerians while in the United States, the figure is even higher. These people use foreign airlines because there are no alternatives’, AYDM said.

The group said an Oodua airline would also boost transport of agro-products in Nigeria.

The group stated that while it commended the efforts of Air Peace owner, Allen Onyema, it noted that his contribution was not enough, adding that there were many gaps yet to be filled in the aviation industry.

“Air Peace has made a remarkable move which is commendable, but this is not enough. Other stakeholders should invest in the aviation industry.

“The South-West states should team up to establish a regional airline. This will remain a milestone and a significant contribution to solving unemployment and improving tourism in Nigeria and in the South-West’, Ajayi said.

He observed that since the establishment of Ibom Airlines, the project had continued to thrive, adding that the initiative of the Akwa Ibom State government was a challenge to other state governments in Nigeria.

“There can be no better time to establish the O’odua Airline. We suggest that Ibadan should be the commercial hub of the O’odua Airline. Five of the South-West states of Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun States have airports. With O’odua Airline, the airports will become even more active”, the AYDM said.

Ajayi urged the governors to set up a technical committee to look into the matter and work out the modalities without delay, adding that many aviation companies across the world would be anxious to partner with the South-West states on the project.

Credit: IrohinOodua