National Carrier’ll Boost Nigeria’s Transport System – Runsewe

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L-R: The director-general of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe and the managing director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Captain Rabiu Yadudu during the conference.

Nigeria needs a national carrier if she must improve her transportation sector and project a positive image by flying her flag at domestic and international airspaces.

This was revealed by the director-general of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) and president of the World Craft Council’s African region, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, during the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)’s National Aviation Conference while speaking on “Nigerian Airports: Gateway to Developing and Managing Tourist Destinations in Nigeria”.

The nation has not had a national carrier since 2003 and the aviation sector needs a strong national carrier to boost air transportation in Nigeria and convey tourists to their destinations.

“The aviation sector is a very delicate one, requiring maximum care and attention. For the aviation industry to successfully and profitably drive the development of any nation, it must be safe, secure, reliable and enjoy the confidence of air transport users. The aviation industry can be strengthened to fully respond to the dynamics of the air transport system in the world.

“Tourism involves travelling from one place to another, tourism inevitably involves travel, not all forms of travels can be said to be tourism. Tourism is motive-specific, The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) defines tourism as ‘activities of a person travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not less than 24 hours for leisure, business and other purposes’. A visitor must not spend less than 24 hours in a destination to be qualified as a tourist. 

“The three components of the industry are transportation, accommodation and attraction. Transportation is an important component of tourism because a destination could be very attractive; yet, unexplored if there are no adequate, effective and comfortable means of transportation. Accommodation is very vital to tourism because no tourist would visit a destination where he or she is not sure of secure, adequate and comfortable accommodation, Attraction is the primary motivation for the tourist,” he said.

Tourists are essentially in search of recreation/ leisure and adventure. All tourists are sensitive to safety and security issues. Air transportation has a comparative advantage over other means of transportation because of its speed, security, comfort and punctuality. 

Some of the challenges facing air transport includes inadequate funding, decaying facilities, inadequate security network, intermittent air crashes” he said.

Runsewe reasoned with the government to provide the enabling environment for private sector investment in the tourism industry and standard hotels within the airport for passengers who are connecting from one destination to another.

The FAAN, represented by its former corporate affair’s general manager, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, outlined the observable differences when travel through the nation’s international airport terminals.

“You will notice a difference on the walls, beautiful tourism pictures that show the studies about Nigeria. That is one of the things we are doing to promote tourism in our airports.

“The aviation sector and tourism complement each other, they work together. Tourism depends on transportation to bring visitors. We are playing our parts doing all that we can to ensure that all is done. Tourism is recognised in [the] aviation sector,” she said.

Oluchi Okorafor
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