Nigeria bullies Ghana in aviation market

Business News of Tuesday, 9 April 2013



The Ministry of Transport and the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority have for the past one year battled without any success to get Nigerian authorities to allow Ghanaian domestic airline operators to ply the various Accra-Nigeria routes.

Nigeria is said to have ignored the Yamoussoukro declaration that commits its 44 signatory countries to deregulate air services, and promote regional air markets open to transnational competition.

It followed up on the Yamoussoukro Declaration of 1988, in which many of the same countries agreed to principles of air services liberalisation.

In 2000, the decision was endorsed by Heads of States and governments at the Organisation of African Unity, and became fully binding in 2002.

In an exclusive interview with Citi Business News, the Minister of Transport, Dzifa Ativor said she is expecting Nigeria to open its airspace to local airlines operating in Ghana to fly there soon.

The Transport Ministry is unhappy about the situation and believes Nigeria is not being fair to Ghana as their commercial airlines still fly to Accra every day. Madam Ativor expressed the hope that the newly elected Chairman of the African Civil Aviation Commission, Air-Commodore Kwame Mamphey (Rtd) will lead this effort to get the Nigerian Civil Aviation to open its airspace to domestic airline operators in Ghana.

Citi Business News has learnt that domestic airline operator; Africa World Airline has currently applied to the Nigeria Civil Aviation to allow it to start operating that route but has not received any positive reply months after the application.

A source at the airline company said: “We are still keeping our fingers crossed. We have our adverts and promotions ready for the Nigerian route but we are still waiting. We don’t know how soon the response will come.”

Nigerian airline operators, Arik and Aero are said to be monopolizing the Accra-Lagos routes with support from their regulator.