Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Barbados, H.E. Musa John Jen, is calling for direct airline flights between Barbados and Nigeria as well as business and cultural exchange. And what could be more natural for two countries that share common historical and family ties?
It all sounds so mutually beneficial and again, “natural” for Bajans to want to fill in this part of our missing heritage. Especially if we are unable to trace our roots back any further than a mis-named ancestor in the Barbados slave registries, there is a hole that needs to be filled on both a personal and a national level. That is why so many of us turn our hearts towards Africa and why some even consciously reject the parts of our history and culture associated with names like Horatio Nelson.
Time For A Reality Check
The Nigerian High Commissioner to Barbados recently spoke at the inaugural Nigerian Tourism Expo 2008 held at Hilton Barbados and his words made sense on the surface, but each of us should ask “How much will these plans cost me personally?”
How much are YOU willing to pay from YOUR tax money to support a direct air link with Nigeria?
How do we know it will cost you money? Simple… if a Nigeria – Barbados direct flight was economically viable, market forces would already have it in place. For those with short memories, may we suggest that the recent Ghana-Barbados direct air link debacle should be enough to make one pause before committing good money after bad to another tenuous Africa link.
In the case of the failed Ghana flight, Barbados is still stuck paying the entire cost while those who organised the scam whistled all the way to bank.
Our view: No more Barbados government money should be spent trying to push air links to Africa. The arguments of the Nigerian High Commissioner are emotional, and not based in fiscal reality.
You want a snapshot of the next five years? Try British Midland Airways ending Barbados service.
A Barbados to Africa direct flight in this economy? That duck will never fly on it’s own.