The news: The Plateau state government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the management of Valuejet to provide air transportation services on the Jos-Abuja route.
According to local aviation publication, Nigerian Flight Deck, the deal was signed on Saturday, August 12 at Valuejet’s head office in Lagos.
Why it matters: “The essence of this agreement is that the Governor of Plateau State, Caleb Mutfwang when he came on onboard, he saw a deficit in activities of air transportation in the state and how the value in these activities are not felt within the state,” Davou Gyang, the state’s commissioner of transportation, said.
“As someone who responds to the plight of his people in terms of safety and economic value of the travel between Jos and Abuja, [the governor] found it expedient to have a very reliable flight that would be frequenting Abuja-Jos, to be able to boost the economic activities in the state and then to guarantee the safety of travellers,” Mr Gyang added.
Currently, only Max Air flies the Jos-Abuja route, it took on the route since September 2022. Last month when the airline was suspended by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for a continued safety breach, all the flights from the state to the nation’s capital were grounded, leaving travellers to ply the road which the state’s transport commissioner has described as “been disastrous where commuters would be left with the choice of paying ransom talk more of road accidents”.
Gyang represented Governor Mutfwang at the signing of the MoU. Meanwhile, Managing Director of ValueJet, Omololu Majekodunmi signed the deal on behalf of the airline. It remains unclear when Valuejet will commence flights on the route.
“We have promised them that we want to see that this works and I think other states should learn from it,” says Majekodunmi. “We see to it until the route gets profitable and until people start to appreciate it. Now, they know that there is a safe way to get to Abuja unlike before they go by road or what other mode they used to get to Abuja.”
Know more: Launched in October 2022, Valuejet launched its operations in Jos in February this year, flying the Jos-Lagos route with its CRJ900 aircraft, operating four times a week, alongside Arik Air.
This is a developing story.