XENOPHOBIA: Senate seeks sustainable policy to support indigenous entrepreneurs

Edwin AKWUEH, Abuja

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The Nigerian Senate has stressed the need for the federal government to introduce deliberate and sustainable policies to promote indigenous entrepreneurship in the airline industry to make them compete globally and take reciprocal advantages of Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA).

Chairman, Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/NEPAD, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani who made the call, also commended the proprietor and management of Air Peace Airline for the prompt intervention to rescue Nigerian citizens facing unabating attacks due to xenophobia in South Africa.

Senator Nnamani recalled a motion passed by the Senate in July this year mandating the federal government to protect Nigeria indigenous airlines from unfair competitions by foreign airlines, saying this was essential to unfettered regional cooperation and economic integration in Africa.

Senator Nnamani representing Enugu East Senatorial District in the senate, said he was particularly touched by the patriotism and uncommon spirit of brotherhood exhibited by the Managing Director of Air Peace Airline, Mr. Allen Ifechukwu Onyema and his team.

The former Governor of Enugu State noted: “The bold steps taken by the management of Air Peace to rescue our stranded citizens in South Africa on account of the xenophobic attacks by South Africans is commendable. This gesture will go a long way to give hope and mitigate the pains of the victims who have lost their means of livelihood.”

To this end, Senator Nnamani tasked the federal government to create a programme of rehabilitation for the returnees so that they would be fully reintegrated into the society, while urging other well-meaning Nigerians, corporate organizations and charities to emulate the Air Peace example by joining in the efforts to rehabilitate them.

He urged government at all levels to grow the economy to address migration issues and halt the penchant of youths to seek greener pastures beyond the shores of Nigeria.

Omolayo.A