The Federal Government has ordered 20 new petrol aircraft for the national carrier fleet, Nigeria Air, out of which only nine have been delivered in preparation for the start of the airline in December.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this at a meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Friday, assuring that Nigerian Air will start as earlier approved.
At the meeting held at the National Assembly Complex, Gbajabiamila expressed concern over the project saying that some issues needed clarification.
Sirika however said President Muhammadu Buhari, at the just concluded ministers’ retreat gave a marching order to ensure that the goal was achieved.
Explaining the reasons why the Federal Government should have a national carrier, Sirika stressed that they are giving every Nigerian the opportunity especially those in the aviation sector to participate in the airline so that the project can be workable.
“We have so far from all the submissions identified the partners, and the investors and we are currently negotiating and processing the AOC. We are twerking the business case in such a way it will give us an advantage and set in in the most efficient manner. So, I want to commit here by the grace of God, between now and the end of the year, the airline will work.”
Sirika also said that the cargo terminal of Abuja international airport will be ready in five days.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnodim Nnaji, expressed concern over allowing another country’s airline to own a major stake in the country’s national carrier, saying it may be counterproducti