BusinessDay

President Buhari honours Air Peace chairman, others with National Merit Award

For providing jobs to thousands of Nigerians and for his humanitarian activities, President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday honoured Allen Onyema, the chairman and CEO of Air Peace.

Onyema, a businessman, established Air Peace in 2014 and in less than 10 years the airline has the largest fleet in West Africa and has employed over 3000 Nigerians.

Onyema is an entrepreneur who came into the consciousness of Nigerians in 2019 when he evacuated hundreds of Nigerians from South Africa during Xenophobic attacks when South African blacks were killing other blacks in their country.

Since then he has made other interventions for the country’s citizens.

During the lockdown, Air Peace evacuated many Nigerians from different parts of the world who were unable to pay for tickets to take them back to Nigeria.

The airline evacuated Nigerians from India, Thailand, Malaysia and some other African countries.

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Onyema has been involved in many social investments, which have impacted Nigerians in various ways, especially the deployment of aircraft for rescue flights during lockdown in 2020, corporate philanthropy, massive employment, and other social impact initiatives.

Before the establishment of Air Peace, Onyema started the peace initiative that led to the end of violent militancy in the Niger Delta through his Nonviolence Transformation Programmes and he is unequivocally a firm believer in the oneness and unity of Nigeria and nationalist who is constantly using his God-given resources to promote the harmonious co-existence of Nigeria’s diverse ethnic nationalities.

He has also made successful strides in advancing Nigeria’s aviation industry, including being the launch customer of the Embraer 195-E2 airplanes in the whole of Africa.

President Buhari honoured other business moguls in Nigeria, including Mike Adenuga, the Chairman of Globacom, Jim Ovia, the Founder of Zenith Bank Plc, Abdulsamad Rabiu, the Founder of BUA Group and Abdullahi Adamu, a renowned farmer and currently the Chairman of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC).

Bode Mustapha, the Secretary to the Federal Government was also recognised with the National Merit Award for the role he played during the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

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