June 12, 2024

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Emirates unsolicited offer, more than a Grammy Award to the Ministry

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Sir Timothy Charles Clark, KBE, President of Emirates Airlines, a British Business Executive

The leadership in Nigeria’s Ministry of Aviation has been elated and full of excitement for the verbal offer by the President of Emirates Airlines, Sir Timothy Charles Clark, KBE, a British business executive, who announced to the world that Emirates Airlines would be willing to assist the most populous black nation in the world to midwife her national flag carrier, Nigeria Air.

A Grammy Award is any of a series of awards presented each year in the United States by either the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences or the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. The Grammys, as they are commonly known, are meant to recognize spectacular work in the music industry

Tim Clark’s comments although made in passing but with disdain during a panel session moderated by Richard Quest to discuss the future of Aviation at the Dubai Expo 2022 forum, according to the Minister’s Special Assistant, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, the verbal note by Tim had turned out an elixir and seriously viewed as an endorsement on how sacrosanct the entire process had been since its conception in 2016 with a promise to bring Nigeria Air to life in 2018.

The media statement by Odaudu without mincing words declared that “the Minister also sees the offer as an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their PPP bids for Nigeria Air in response to the recently advertised Request for Proposal”, the statement said.

The media statement issued on behalf of the minister drew inference from Tim Clark’s terse and cynic statement which the ministry had dubbed endorsement.

The Aviation Ministry was obviously fascinated by the comment Tim made in passing hence it described it as “endorsement of the need, the zeal, and, of course, the process for the national carrier project”

The minister’s statement further claimed that Tim’s offer couched in rhetorics was “also an expression of confidence of the international aviation community in the commitment of the Buhari government to it”, (the national flag carrier), the statement quoted the minister.

The statement which claimed to clarify the hues and cries Tim’s comment had elicited from a wide spectrum of interest groups, made it public that, “the process for the acquisition of the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) and the Air Transport License (ATL) is well on course for the expected launch date of the airline, which Senator Sirika had assured Nigerians will be proud of”

A cursory look at the media release perhaps inadvertently missed out on the brand new take-off date which had severally and variously been announced beginning from 2018 to date.

It can be recalled there was not a year since 2018 that about three different launch dates were not announced each year, up until March 2022.

Succinctly put, the statement helped etched out the figurative importance of Emirates’ informal application to offer assistance thus; “the Minister also sees the offer as an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their PPP bids for Nigeria Air in response to the recently advertised Request for Proposal”.

Albeit, the media statement has succeeded in breeding confusion, among members of the fourth estate of the realm that recorded the very brief discussion by creating a fictitious gap with a comment credited to Tim Clark but was actually made by the Minister, Hadi Sirika.

Senator Hadi Sirika, Aviation Minister. A Buharist for Live

It Mostly depicted how Nigerians have been running into confusion with most of the programs by the ministry, from airport concession to airport automation, from avsec uniforms and K9 dogs among numerous others that Nigerians have been longingly looking forward to their fruition.

The media statement no doubt was thrust into the information superhighway to cause a head-on collision in most of the media organizations’ newsrooms. It however succeeded in creating a near miss. How?

The media release had unwittingly helped generated queries for correspondents who had earlier credited a statement to Senator Hadi Sirika but when the statement from the minister’s stable credited the same comment to Tim Clark of Emirates, there lies the “roforofo fight in the madhouse”- newsroom.

The minister’s media release in its fourth paragraph claimed; “Of course, Nigeria needs a National Airline. There is an enormous business case for the national carrier. Nigerians are seeking to travel all over the world. Nigeria is a powerhouse in Africa. We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services,” Clark had said- The crux of the matter

While this was the Minister’s response to Tim Clark’s sarcastic question on why Nigeria is frenetic in establishing a national carrier, the response now credited to Tim, belonged to Sirika.

Other specks of dust raised at the forum in Dubai which are yet to be thoroughly re-examined are the claims on the number of airports, airlines and passenger traffic which were claimed to be more than double within six years of the present administration.

Likely, another media statement would thrust them up for stakeholders’ passionate examination.

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