Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that the long awaited national carrier, Nigeria Air, will take off in April 2022.Sirika told journalists after the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja that the business outline case for the establishment of the national carrier had been approved by the FEC.
He explained that the approval came at the sixth attempt to get it approved.
According to the minister, the approval covered the award of contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including software support and training, which will be located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the establishment of the national carrier.
“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,” local media reports quoted the minister as saying.
The minister also said that the establishment of the national carrier would generate about 70,000 jobs in the first few years.
Although the national carrier was first launched in Farnborough in the United Kingdom 2018, the minister has assured that “this airline would pick up and start by God’s grace, on or before April 2022”.