March 27, 2023

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First Nigerian Pilot, Bob Hayes, Endorses Aviation Roadmap, Nigeria Air

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Right: Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, in a warm handshake welcoming octogenarian Capt Bob Hayes, First Nigerian Pilot, to his office at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has described the visit and endorsement by the 87 years old, Capt Bob Hayes, as an honour to receive.

Hadi Sirika on his Twitter handle wrote of Capt Hayes’s visit, “he paid a courtesy visit to lend his support to our roadmap, especially the National Carrier that is about to start”.

The Minister paid glowing tribute to his august visitor who h described as “our mentor” and prayed that, “we cherish and honour you. May you live longer sir”


Some sections of the aviation community have been agitated about how the elders in the industry have attributed Nigeria’s indigene ship to Capt Bob Hayes.

They have also found it difficult to reconcile his name with any of the tribes in the country in spite of the over 30 dialects spoken and over a hundred different cultures that exist among the over 200 million Nigerians.

Right: Senator Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, in a warm handshake with octogenarian Capt Bob Hayes, First Nigerian Pilot

However, history had it that Captain Bob Hayes’s father was British. While his mother was an Itshekiri. Hence, it is very correct to describe Capt Hayes as a Nigerian.

Also, Capt Hayes was trained by the Federal Government. He attended the popular flying school in Scotland. Other of his contemporaries that attended the flying school in the early 1950s were Captains Sam Ohiomah and George Ebeigbe.

Others who later attended the Scotland flying school in the 1960s were Captains Dele Ore, Prex Porbeni and many others.

Both Captains Ohiomah and Ebeigbe are deceased.

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