Why a new national carrier for Nigeria is never likely to get off the ground

2 days 20 hours ago
Nigeria has abandoned the idea of a national airline. Shutterstock

One of the most vexatious ironies about Nigeria – perhaps even an embarrassment – is the lack of a national airline. Nigerians are often very piqued to be travelling on airlines owned by smaller less resource-endowed African countries. Ethiopia, Kenya and Rwanda and South Africa national carriers are some of the big players on the continent.

Foreign airlines do well from the large and growing number of Nigerian passengers. For instance, Emirates flies twice a day from Lagos, with over 12,000 passengers per week.

Many Nigerians were, therefore, elated when the Nigerian government announced during the 2018 International Air Show in London that it intended to establish a new national airline to be named Nigeria Air.

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South African court frees cannabis from colonial and apartheid past

3 weeks 5 days ago
Celebrations after court rules that the personal use of dagga is not a criminal offence. Kim Ludbrook/EPA

A ruling by the South African Constitutional Court opens the way for decriminalising private use of cannabis, locally known as “dagga”. It marks a definitive shift in a century of notoriously punitive drug policy, recognised in the recent judgement to be “replete with racism”.

In 1922, cannabis was officially classified and designated for control as a “habit-forming drug” through a national Customs and Excise Act. Consequences of this legal development were not only local: they were global.

A year after the national law was passed, the government under Prime Minister Jan Smuts, approached the League of Nations’ “Dangerous Drugs” committees requesting that cannabis be included within the same registers as opium, morphine and cocaine. Two years later cannabis was placed within international drug protocols.

This begs the question of why and how cannabis came to hold such political significance for colonial rulers in South Africa. What was behind the 1922 law? And how did that history shape subsequent cannabis politics?

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