What’s the story in West Africa?

Victoria
By Victoria April 16, 2012 19:41

What’s the story in West Africa?

With so much going on in the world it is easy to overlook stories so today I will try to redress the balance with a few words on West Africa.
It is the most populous country in Africa, and given its rich oil/mineral wealth, should be one of the richest, alas many decades of wealth mismanagement (that is putting it diplomatically) has meant the country has never been able to raise-up, establish and solidify a middle class on a scale that would provide tax revenue that would in turn feed development. It would be wonderful to sit here and state that all this is behind Nigeria, but it is not, although the nation has, over the past decade, taken bold steps forward. The current government, the best and most stable in many years, sees the importance of aviation and its ability to connect economies and create wealth. In fact behind closed doors Nigerian officials are thinking well ahead and see their regional lead and geographical location as being perfect to make their nation one of if not the leading aviation hub for the African continent.

It is against this backdrop that the Air Nigeria Development Company has concluded its two-year turnaround programme. The airline will consolidate on flights to its regional routes commencing with the London route on May 16 and the Johannesburg route on May 17. The Paris route is to follow in June.
The airline has confirmed to local media that it will start with seven flights from Lagos to Gatwick every week.

The new airline company has inherited debts of $373 million the now defunct Virgin Nigeria, however.

Chairman of the airline and Group Managing Director, the Global Fleet conglomerate, Dr. Jimoh Ibrahim explained that the airline found a lot of irregularities at the company he took over including an outstanding loan from United Bank for Africa of $275 million, which threatened to pull down both the airline and the bank. The new company managed to secure an AFREXIM long-term loan of $250 million and renegotiated the UBA loan as well as another loan from the Bank of Industry. This cleared the company’s debt burden.

Ibrahim is confident that the airline can overcome the recent discrepancy in fares charged by some foreign airlines in the West African sub-region as well as the foreign currency challenges.

But of course if Nigeria wishes to become the leading African aviation hub by 2030 then it will need to be more thoughtful when dealing with the likes of IAG, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic and such.

Victoria
By Victoria April 16, 2012 19:41
Write a comment

No Comments

No Comments Yet!

Let me tell You a sad story ! There are no comments yet, but You can be first one to comment this article.

Write a comment

Only <a href="http://www.aviationnews-online.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aviationnews-online.com%2Fairline%2Fwhats-the-story-in-west-africa%2F"> registered </a> users can comment.