africa

FG discusses nation’s carrier, Nigeria Air with US Ambassador


The Federal Government has said that some private investors are going to raise about N102.75 billion ($250 million) for the take-off of the proposed national carrier for Nigeria.

This is coming after the initial failed attempt almost 3 years ago to launch the proposed national carrier for the country.

According to a report from Punch, the disclosure is contained in a document on the updated status of the government’s aviation roadmap at the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Abuja on Wednesday.

The Aviation Ministry stated in the document that the project development stage for the national carrier has been completed and as such, the procurement stage is the next step to be taken.

READ: FEC approves N10.5 billion for Airport Management Solution for Lagos, 4 other international airports

The statement from the document says, “The next set of steps will involve the commencement of procurement phase by placing an advert for a request for qualification in the national dailies and the foreign media.

$250 million approximately is to be raised to start up the airline by private investors.

According to the aviation roadmap which is contained in the document, the Federal Government explained that the establishment of a national carrier would enable Nigeria to gain optimal benefits from Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), take full advantage of the Single African Air Transport Market and introduce competition.

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It states, “The national carrier project will be private sector-driven, with the government holding not more than five per cent of the shares.

The private sector consortium may comprise reputable international airlines (such as Qantas), leasing companies, aircraft manufacturers (OEMs), financial and institutional investors.

The government said it was providing the required support by creating the enabling environment in terms of sustainable policies, allocation of BASA routes, provision of financial guarantees and ensuring fiscal incentives to sustain the success of the airline.

READ: South African Airways to cancel more foreign routes, as revenue loss bites 

What you should know

It can be recalled that in July 2018, the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at the Farnborough Air Show in London, unveiled the proposed new national carrier called Nigeria Air and stated that it would be inaugurated by the end of 2018.

This generated a lot of controversies as many Nigerians questioned the use of public funds to set up a private business and had doubts over the ability of the government to manage the airline after the liquidation of government-owned Nigeria Airways.

The Federal Government in 2018, announced the immediate suspension of its widely publicised national carrier due to the alleged non-approval of the airline by the Economic Management Team (EMT) when it launched.

The EMT was also reported to have recommended that public funds should not be used to set up the national carrier.



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