National airline : Nigerian govt gives new timeframe for establishment

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, on Wednesday, told the Federal Executive Council (FEC) that efforts were on to ensure Nigeria’s national carrier takes off in 2021.

Sirika briefed State House correspondents after the meeting presided over President Muhammadu Buhari, NAN reports. Sirika disclosed that the mandate given to his ministry was to identify all stalled projects and ensure completion before the end of this tenure. The minister said it also included the complete construction works at airports which he assured would be ready by the fourth quarter of 2021. And then to implement effective maintenance and optimal use of airport facilities, Aviation minister updates FEC, says national carrier ready by 2021. We were also asked to ensure the establishment of national carrier; it is at a very advanced stage; the outline business case is completed; the socio-economic impact of having a carrier has been added to outline business case. It will be coming for approval; then by 2021 quarter three, we will have the national carrier established; and the planes will be flying domestically”, the minister said. The federal government was heavily criticised in 2018 after moves to establish a national carrier failed. Sirika had different photo with supposed investors/partners and repeatedly gave assurances on the project. In July 2018, Sirika announced the name of the then proposed new National Carrier – ‘Nigeria Air’. The unveil was held in front of investors at the Farnborough International Air Show in the UK, the same period the government opened negotiations with aircraft manufacturers, Boeing and Airbus.

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