Some highly intelligent people in Akwa Ibom State are of the opinion that by hiring Airplanes for “Kabu Kabu” they are promoting sustainable development? I have quietly been watching their farcical dance and shaking my head. I hope they repent and follow perfect sustainable models such as Senator Akpabio’s agriculture empowerment programme and Ethiopia’s burgeoning fast growing agric economy.
Africa’s Power and Superiority is in her ability to plough her virgin land and her investment in agriculture. Let us stop fooling ourselves with zinc toys on wings. The most sustainable economy in Nigeria is no longer the South with its oil , it is currently the North with its vast agricultural fields of vast ploughed arable land. More than 70% of Nigeria’s agricultural exports is from the North.
Ibom Air is Doomed
Ethiopia the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, is land locked without any ports or coastal rivers. Ethiopia has no oil deposit yet it occupies the top spot as Africa’s most sustainable economy. Ethiopia has a pure agricultural economy, 46% of its economy is based on agriculture; 80% of its total export is from agriculture. However did you know that currently Ethiopia is the fastest-growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa? In 2018 The IMF World Economic Outlook predicted 8.5% growth in 2018, far outstripping that of many advanced economies! Coffee exports alone earns Ethiopia over $800 million annually, when one includes its seeds, natural oils, hides and skin exports – Ethiopia is close to earning $1 billion annually from agriculture alone.
Juxtapose this with its aviation industry – voted the most successful in Africa. Boasting over 100 aircrafts in its fleet, no other African country comes close to Ethiopian airlines, yet it only posted a $153 million profit , compare this figure to the over $800 million it earns from Coffee exports. NB, the purely State owned Ethiopian aviation industry does not submit dividends to the government, which means Ethiopian airlines is not a profit making industry in the real sense. All the revenue it earns from its aircraft is ploughed back to purchase more aircraft, these purchases are backed by credit facilities. Therefore while Ethiopian airlines is emblematic and has earned Ethiopia a reputation internationally, the Ethiopian economy and its over 70% population who are employed in its agricultural sector do not depend on its airlines for their bread and butter.
Don’t misunderstand me, I have nothing against investment in the aviation industry but we need to get our economic priorities right!
I sincerely hope the Akwa Ibom State government will turn itself around and follow the Ethiopian example, it needs to invest heavily in agriculture and stop dancing around these multi coloured winged zinc toys. Our land is famished and is in dire need of intelligent sustainable investment.