MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
By Winnie Kodilonye
The Anambra State Government has commended Nigeria’s leading air carrier, Air Peace, for its new “No City Left Behind” strategy which has seen it commence operations in different parts of the country in the last few months with rapidity.
The latest operations were opened in Gombe State and Ibadan, Oyo State, within a space of three days.
In a statement on Tuesday signed by the State Commissioner for Information & Public Enlightenment Mr. Don Adinuba in Awka, the State capital, the state government said “it is proud of the development record, the pan-African vision and commitment of the airline’s leadership, particularly its chairman, Chief Allen Onyema, a worthy son of our great state and whose patriotism is like that of the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe.”
The government commended “the carrier for an aggressive route development programme when airlines across the globe are managing to remain afloat as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic which dealt a serious blow to not just the aviation sector but also the entire tourism industry”.
It is delightful, according to the Anambra State government, that while some other airlines are acquiring refurbished aircraft, Air Peace “has been purchasing a large number of brand new and state of the art equipment and deploying them on Nigerian domestic routes for the safety and comfort of our people. “The use of Embraer 195, known for an excellent safety record, is most welcome,” the statement noted.
“What is more, we are delighted to hear from people like Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State that the Air Peace operation in Ibadan has resulted in the crash of air tariffs in certain places, which is pleasant news to Nigerian travellers”.
The government asked other airlines to borrow a leaf from Air Peace by developing routes like Ibadan-Port Harcourt and Enugu-Kano to deepen national integration rather than continue with traditional flying from Abuja into Lagos and flying into other cities from these places.
“Chief Onyema’s commitment to national unity and economic integration is reminiscent of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s promotion of Nigeria’s unity as well as nationalism through journalism by establishing newspapers in places like Kano, Zaria, Lagos, Onitsha, Port Harcourt and others and by forging solid friendships with individuals and by building enduring alliances with different groups throughout the nation”.
Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State, according to Commissioner Adinuba, has already called Chief Onyema on the phone to congratulate him on the new route development programme which he described as capital intensive and time consuming, recalling how two aircraft from the Air Peace fleet flew into Anambra International Cargo and Passenger Airport under construction on Friday, April 30, on demonstration flights.
“Governor Obiano”, stated Adinuba, “also thanked the Air Peace chairman for his support for working closely with the Anambra State Government to build a hanger at the state airport for the repair and maintenance of aircraft”, revealing that the airport will be commissioned soon.
He added: “We are also delighted that Air Peace is working hard to see if the Embraer aviation company of Brazil can establish its African service centre in the state.
“There is a lot other wealthy enterpreneurs from our country can learn from Chief Onyema,” the stated noted.