5 years after, Nigeria’s aviation still in the woods
Aviation industry in Nigeria suffers from poor reputation for operational efficiency and safety. This is attested to by the present state of the industry in the country. WOLE SHADARE writes that factors such as incoherent air transport policy, bad management, decaying infrastructure, in security, and frequent crashes have helped to slow growth and put the sector in a precarious situation
Air travel in Nigeria commenced during World War 11 (1939-1945) when it became necessary to move troops and supplies fast across the country. Several airstrips were built then which were converted after the war to civilian use. Civil aviation in the country blossomed with the creation of Nigeria Airways in 1958. The carrier took over the operation of local flights from the defunct West African Airways Corporation (WAAC), which had been operating commercial aircraft within the country since 1946.
In 1963, the Nigerian government bought out the other shareholders and Nigeria Airways became wholly owned by the Nigerian government. The carrier had a monopoly for providing domestic air services in Nigeria. It was also the national flag carrier for international services along the West African Coast, Europe and the United States of America. In 1976, the airline operated a fleet of 19 aircraft consisting of two each Boeing 707 and 737 and one DC10-30 aircraft used mainly for international flights.