Nigeria’s National Carrier, Nigeria Air set to take off by April 2022

265

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved April 2022 as the take-off date of Air Nigeria, the proposed new national carrier.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced the take-off date while briefing state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He explained that the national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a five percent stake while Nigerian entrepreneurs will hold 46 percent adding that the remaining 49 percent will be reserved for yet to be assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.

The minister explains that when the outline kicks off in April 2022, it will 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.

“Today in Council, civil aviation presented two memoranda,” he said. “The first one is approval for the award of contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including software support and training, which will be located in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

“The next one also is approval of the outline business case for the establishment of the national carrier and this is the sixth time the memorandum appeared before Council. The sixth time, we got lucky to be passed by Council.”

“The structure of the proposed airline, government will be owning not more than five per cent. So, five per cent is the maximum equity that government will take, then 46 per cent will be owned by Nigerian entrepreneurs.

“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.

“But one important item is the AU agenda 2063, which speaks to the integration of Africa, which speaks to the cause and trade within Africa that is intra-Africa and, to which also, another flagship project of AU agenda 2063 called the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

“Now, the only way, the quickest way that you can integrate Africa is by air because if you want to interconnect all the 54 nations of Africa, via rail or road, or waterways, which is even impossible, the quantum of money that you need to do all of these, the time it will take to develop this infrastructure, as well as the maintenance cost, is almost prohibitive,” he added.

Noting that such a project is doable but time-taking, Sirika believes within a year, the African countries can be connected via aviation with the right policy in place.

He said the government arrived at the choice of name, colour, and logo, among others for the national carrier after a national debate that involved thousands of people.



Abisola Adebayo is a Reporter/Presenter/Social Media Manager for Tv360Nigeria. She is a first class graduate of the department of Mass Communication at Fountain University, Osogbo. Abisola is currently running her Masters Degree at the University of Lagos. The Social Media savvy young lady is ambitious and driven, likes trying new things and sets new goals for herself. Always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *