Air Nigeria to take off April 2022
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, revealed this while briefing correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He recalled that it was the sixth time the matter was brought before the cabinet for consideration.
According to him, the Federal Government will acquire only five per cent equity in the airline while other Nigerians will get 46 per cent. He disclosed that strategic partners, including foreign airlines, will be identified to take up the remaining 49 per cent equity.
The minister also said the national carrier, when operational, will create about 70,000 jobs for Nigerians. Noting that the FEC approval is for the outline business case for the establishment of the national carrier, he said: “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, 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.
“This airline, if started, and within the first few years will generate about 70,000 jobs. These 70,000 jobs are higher than the total number of civil servants that we have in the country.”
Speaking on the AU agenda 2063, which speaks to integration of Africa and another flagship project of AU agenda 2063 called the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), he said with aviation, within a year, once the right policy is in place, like SAATM, you can connect Africa and then of course, the needed integration will happen.”
He added: “The name is Nigeria Air, which of course, if you remember back in time, this was subjected to national debate and 400,000 people participated, chose the name, the colour, the logo, everything and it was produced that time.
“It was launched also in Farnborough as far back as 2018. So, the business case is a public document. It will be on our website, you can download it. This airline will pick up and start, by God’s grace, on or before April 2022.”
Sirika said the council also approved 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 in the sum of N1,492,520,325, including 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax (VAT).
Also speaking, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said he presented a memo for approval for the award of contract for the provision of training logistics, operational equipment and maintenance support for the Deep Blue Project.
“The contract was awarded at N6,347,967,644.21, inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT for a period of two years. It’s also important to say that the cabinet was briefed that there’s huge improvement in the security on our waterways now and we hope that it will continue as we progress,” he said.
Just before the commencement of the council meeting, President Buhari led cabinet members to wish his Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, a happy 77th birthday celebration.
This followed an announcement to the FEC by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, of Gambari’s birthday. President Buhari congratulated him on the attainment of age 77 and jocularly injected that “you are still going strong, congratulations!”
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FEC okays April 2022 for Air Nigeria take-off
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FEC okays April 2022 for Air Nigeria take-off