The federal government (FG) are planning to revisit the suspended national carrier project.
Okay Nigeria had earlier reported that the federal government suspended its plan to launch a national carrier “Nigeria Air” indefinitely.
However, Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, disclosed on Monday when he appeared before the senate committee on aviation in Abuja to defend the ministry’s budget that the project will be revisited and launched soon.
He revealed that the ministry only suspended the project to put adequate measures in place, promising that the project would be delivered soon.
He also said the project, which was President Muhammadu Buhari’s brainchild would not be allowed to die.
In his words:
“We have to suspend the earlier plans for the national carrier for strategic reasons. The move was not killed,” he said.
“Provisions have to be made to continue to fund activities of advisers and so on, to ensure that it is delivered.
“The carrier will be delivered within the life of this administration, this I can assure you.
“It is not forgotten by the government. It will continue and we are doing everything we can to deliver it.”
The minister, however, stated that the carrier would not be funded solely by the government.
“It is a public-private partnership (PPP). The private sector will lead and deliver while the government will play its role,” he explained.
“Viability funding is also being addressed. After that, then the full business case which is the implementation stage. It is at that point that it will be advertised for people to come in and participate.”
Sirika also lamented about how Nigerians are paying so much to use air carriers belonging to other countries.
He said one of the solution to save Nigerians of exorbitant airfares is to have a national carrier.
In his words:
“When I was in the House of Representatives in 2006, we did invite British Airways to discuss and the answer we got was that they charge exorbitantly because Nigerians can afford it.
“They charge these fees without corresponding challenge. It is very difficult for the ministry to tell entrepreneurs what they should charge.
”This is the whole importance of having a national carrier. It is about competition. Nigerians are highly mobile people with very huge businesses. You find out that the first class and business class is always full.”
Okay Nigeria recalls that the “Nigeria Air” project was unveiled back in