The recent spat between Air Peace and the court of the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero in respect of the management of the fallout of a flight delay has brought to the fore once again the need to basically separate business from politics in the overall national interest.
As the details have since emerged, there had been a timeline delay in a continental flight that had brought the Emir and his entourage from the Gambia to Nigeria. This was to have further implications as the Emir could not get into the country on time to board his connecting flight to his primary domain at Kano.
Attempts by an aide of the Emir, Isa Bayero to get Air Peace to delay the scheduled connecting flight were unsuccessful as the airlines management felt that such an action could provoke a brand image backlash for both the airline and the court of the Emir. In the alternative, the airline offered to make some other less disruptive arrangements for the Emir and his entourage to continue with their in-country connecting journey after they would have landed in Nigeria. This compromise option was however not acceptable to the court of the Emir who insisted that the flight be delayed as they had originally promoted.
We are aware that a petition has presently been sent by the court of the Emir to the NCAA on the matter. While awaiting the reaction of the agency, suffice it to weigh in on what we consider to be the extended field of sight.
In our view, it is important at all times to place before ourselves the fact that proper business and national economy growth do not come out of the blues. It follows on principles that are basic and time tested. To get beneficial outcomes, businesses and nations must spend lots of time, plotting out the business paths they want to follow and ensure that literally every step and process is thoroughly researched, analysed and reviewed. They must also take into critical consideration the fact that they are playing within a global economy that is highly competitive, discerning and hungry for value.
This is more so when it is evident to all that this economy needs to continue to attract more and more investments and even some of this most importantly from non-Nigerians. Of course, the logical outgrowth is that even these non-Nigerian investors would invariably take their cue from how Nigerian businesses and other previous investors are faring.
For example, poor management of the Petroleum Reform Law process for over a decade and counting is arguably one of the publicly unstated reasons at the centre of the current divestment of multinational companies from Nigeria’s oil sector.
Again, in the particular instance of the missed flight, some have preferred to see it as a customer-service provider dispute that ought not to go beyond that. We tend to agree with them.
The insinuation by the aide of the Emir who had petitioned on behalf of the court of the Emir suggesting the possibility of some reprisal action from the people of Kano to what he has described as an affront on the court of the Emir is also not in the best taste.
This is more so when we note that the same Kano has been the hotbed for not a few previous incidents of destructive mob action in the past.
The Allen Onyema’s and Air Peace Airlines of this world who have resolutely decided to invest in growing the Nigerian economy should be encouraged and supported. This is the reasonable thing to do. We therefore urge the court of the Emir of Kano to formally and publicly distance itself from that most unfortunate spat and its accompanying insinuations in the overall interest of engendering the most appropriate atmosphere for the promotion of business and peace in the country.