Former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo said he sold Nigerian Airways to Virgin Nigeria because the former national carrier had failed and needed no re-enforcement. Obasanjo stated this yesterday at the book launch of Oba Olufemi Adewunmi Ogunleye, Towulade Akinade of Egbaland, in honour of the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr. Harold Demuren. The book is titled ‘Nigeria Civil Aviation: Decade of Security, Safety and Passenger Comfort Development.’
Obasanjo challenged professionals and stakeholders in the country’s aviation industry to go to the archives and see various unpalatable reports written about the former national carrier. He said that as at 1979, the airline had 32 aircraft in its fleet, but 20 years later, it only had one aircraft that was managing to fly. “When you go through the history of what Nigerians have done to run their country down, you will bleed and we can’t continue that way. That is why I said if we have the likes of Demuren, we must celebrate them. Go back to the archives and see a lot of things that have been written on the Nigeria Airways,” he said.
Obasanjo explained that the situation of Nigeria Airways was not so different from the former Nigeria Shipping Line. He said that as at 1999 when he was returning as the president of the country, there was no single ship in the fleet of the country’s shipping line any longer.