Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, Hadji Sirika has announced that Nigeria will have a very strong, viable national airline before the end of 2017.
According to him, the project would be private sector driven, and the federal government may own only three percent of the airline.
“When we came in we were very clear on our targets and goals and what we set out to achieve, and we did say that Nigeria does need a national airline. The national airline will be one that the government will have no hand in; normally it can have three percent,” he said.
“It will be private sector-led, private sector-driven. Except with the Ethiopian airline it has been proven that government doesn’t do well with this kind of venture.
“We are going to have a national carrier; it is on course and because it is a PPP thing it has to go through IC and C, and also has to follow all the due process. So it is time-consuming but I hope very soon before the end of the year we will have a very strong viable national airline.”
He said the carrier is necessary, considering the size of the market available in west and central Africa — equivalent to that of the US and Europe.
“For me, if any air line will have the capacity to deploy several aircraft with seamless operation, non disruptive, provide the service, go the long haul, take advantage and give other international airlines a run for their money, we don’t need to get involved; it is because there is none.