Posted by News Express | 30 March 2021 | 468 times
By PAMELA EBOH, Awka
The Government of Anambra State has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to bestow national honours on two of its indigenes, chief Allen Onyema and Mr Innocent Chukwuma for the part they have played in national development.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C Don Adinuba, he explained that government’s recommendation to Buhari was against the background of the second Embraer plane from which Air Peace acquired recently out of the 13 it ordered from the Brazilian manufacturer to boost its local and regional operations.
He also cited the honorary doctorate degree conferred on Chukwuma by University of Calabar over the weekend
According to him, the request was made in a letter by the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, to the President.
Chief Allen Onyema is the Chairman of Air Peace while Mr Innocent Chukwuma, popularly known as Innoson is the chief executive of Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company.
The letter to the President partly reads: “These two gentlemen are deserving of everything in gold.
“They have changed the narrative of Nigeria’s development for the better.
“The whole nation remembers with nostalgia how Chief Onyema sent his wide-bodied aircraft to South Africa two years ago to bring back free of charge hundreds of Nigerians stranded in the country when South Africans launched xenophobic attacks on our fellow countrymen.”
If not for Chief Onyeama’s intervention since 2014, the Nigerian civil aviation industry would have collapsed or been in a comatose state.
“He invested a fortune in it and ensured that Air Peace maintained the highest standards in the world in terms of the state of the art equipment, safety, staff training, as well as ground and in-flight services.”
The governor hailed the carrier for reviving and developing airports across the country like Akure Airport in Ondo State which, he noted, were practically abandoned for years.
He also commended Onyema for his decision to build a hanger for the repair and maintenance of various aircraft at Anambra International Cargo/Passenger Airport which is nearing completion and for his role in the effort to get Embraer to build its maintenance facility for the African region in the state.
Obisno observed that the two projects will go a long way to make Anambra airport a truly air transportation hub in Nigeria, if not the whole of West Africa.
He added: “Government has ensured that this would be the most modern airport in the country and the airport with the longest runway in Africa. The world’s biggest planes can land there easily.”
The Governor described the Innosson chairman as a revolutionary in the country’s quest for industrial development noting that not even government’s failure to sustain motor assembly plants in Nigeria over the decades could deter him from his business pursuit.
“This entrepreneur went into business with modest means as motorcycle seller, from dreaming big and building the nation’s first motor manufacturing firm.
“Only a tough-minded, visionary and patriotic Nigerian could venture into industrialization on a large scale as Chief Chukwuma has done, considering the poor state of infrastructure in the country like electric power and the high cost of funds, to say nothing about hyper-competition from Western and Asian automobile multinationals.
“The constant and remarkable improvements in Innoson vehicles have added to their competitiveness; they compete on both quality and price.
“Today Innnoson motors are sold all over Nigeria and beyond, thus flying Nigeria’s flag in different countries, just like Chief Allen whose airline operates into different African countries and into the United Arab Emirates with plans to extend flights to the United Kingdom, China, India, United States, etc.
“These two Anambra sons are earning foreign exchange for the country making the whole nation proud.
“They are eminently deserving of the national highest honours for their selfless and patriotic services which will ginger them to do more and encourage other citizens to follow in their noble footsteps,” Obiano stated.
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