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EXTRA: Earning N200k monthly in Nigeria better than £2k in London, says Allen Onyema

EXTRA: Earning N200k monthly in Nigeria better than £2k in London, says Allen Onyema
March 28
15:19 2024

Allen Onyema, Air Peace chief executive officer (CEO), says he believes any Nigerian earning N200,000 monthly is better than someone earning £2,000 in London.

Onyema spoke in an interview on TVC on Wednesday, while giving his opinion on the need for Nigerians to have confidence in the national currency.

He also made reference to Olayemi Cardoso’s claim that the naira is undervalued. 

“I support what Mr. Cardoso said. Mr. Cardoso once said that the whole thing is artificial and that the naira has more value than it’s been projected and I believe him,” Onyema said.


“Go to London, if you earn £2000  a month in London you are a pauper because what the £2,000 can afford you is like N2000 because a Nigerian will sit down here and calculate 2000 to a pound and think he can have like N4 million.

“The person earning N200,000 in Nigeria is better. You can have a maid, you can have a driver.

“What I am trying to say is, we should stop stigmatising our country, we must love our country, we must fight for it and must support private investments.”


Speaking further on government support, Onyema said airlines need unconstrained access to dollars, adding that the government needs to do more.

“We need government support for Nigerian airlines. Everything about aviation is dollars. If you don’t have access to dollars, you cannot move forward. Remember, these airlines were competing with abroad, they access loans in their countries at 3 percent. In Nigeria, I am getting my loan at 30 percent,” he said.

“At the same time, the Nigerian airline is dead on arrival when it comes to insurance. They stigmatise my country because insurance is done abroad. So what we use in ensuring one aircraft is what those bigger airlines all over the world will use to ensure about eight aircraft.

“Another way of supporting the airlines is the removal of the city hopping we’re doing in this country. We’re putting a strain on the naira. President Tinubu knows that the multi-city hopping of foreign airlines into his country is creating problems for him.


“The president should call for immediate review of these bilateral air services agreements (BASA). It is not even supposed to be a part of BASA. Countries don’t do it.

“In my country, they do city hopping and at the end of the day, these foreign airlines amass a lot of money and put strain on the dollar and the naira and they start blackmailing the country.”

Onyema also said another support needed is an enabling environment for the airlines to operate.


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