The Federal Government has approved April 2022 as the official take off date for the commencement of the operations of much-awaited Nigeria Air.
This follows the approval of the outline business case for the establishment of the national carrier by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting.
The meeting was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
According to Sirika, the majority shares of 49 per cent of the Nigeria Air project will be owned by strategic equity partners, 46 per cent by Nigerians while the Federal Government will own five per cent of the shares.
The minister revealed that the council also approved N1.49 billion for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment to be located at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
“Today in Council, Ministry of Aviation presented two memoranda. The first one is approval for the award of contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including the software support and training, which will be located at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“In summary, this is the software that will allow all of the activities of civil aviation regulations to be done electronically on one platform, including payments, follow-ups on personnel licenses, medicals, economic regulation of airlines, safety regulations of airlines and all other businesses within the envelope of civil aviation, will be monitored by this single software. So, that has been approved.
“This one also is the approval of the Outline Business Case for the establishment of the National Carrier. This is the sixth time the memorandum appeared before the council and sixth time got lucky to be passed by council.
“The structure of the proposed airline – Federal Government would be owing not more than five per cent. So, five per cent is the maximum equity that government would take.
“So, if you add that, it’s 51 per cent. So, it’s 51 per cent majority shareholding by Nigerians and then 49 per cent will be held by strategic equity partner or partners that will be sourced during the procurement phase, which is the next phase,” the minister stated.
The minister further revealed that the national carrier is expected to generate about 70,000 jobs in the first few years – a number higher than the aggregate number of employees in the Federal Civil Service workforce.