Group Urges South West States to establish O’odua Airline


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

In a press statement on Tuesday, the Alliance for Yoruba Democratic Movement, (AYDM) said the initiative has a very high prospect of viability.

The statement signed by its General Secretary, Mr Popoola Ajayi said the O’odua Airline will complement existing private initiatives which will 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 has 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 who 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’, the AYDM said. The group said the Oodua airline will also boost transport of agro-products in Nigeria.

The group said while it commends the efforts of Airpiece owner, Mr Allen Onyema, his contribution is not enough, adding that  there are many gaps yet to be filled in the aviation industry.

‘Airpiece 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 has continued to thrive adding that the initiative of the Akwa Ibom State government is 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, Lagos, Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo and Ogun States have airports. With O’odua Airline, the airports will become even more active,’ the AYDM said. Ajayi said urged the Governors to set up a technical committee to look into the matter and work out the modalities without delay. He said many aviation companies across the world will be anxious to partner with the South West states on the project.

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