Nigeria approves USD4.99 million to float national carrier


The over flogged ambition of Nigeria to own and operate a national carrier might be coming to fruition soon.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika said Deutsche Lufthansa AG and five other firms with competence in the industry have been appointed as advisers on the planned national carrier.

Giving sketchy details of the partnership agreement, the minister said:

“Messrs Lufthansa Consulting/TN Aero FGE, for the national carrier; for the aviation leasing company, it is Messrs Arrow; for the concession of airports, Messrs Infrata Dantens; for the establishment of the MRO, Messrs Arrow; then, the aerotropolis and agro cargo terminals were given to JEBB”.

They will be saddled with the responsivities of floating the airline and also ‘developing aviation infrastructure in the country. Part of the ambition includes creating a hub in West Africa that the national carrier will dominate.

To fund the project, the minister disclosed that USD4,99 million has been approved to float the carrier. It is not clear if this amount will be enough for such project given the fact that Nigeria Airways, the defunct national carrier has no tangible asset to be taken over by the new entity.

There is no clearance on the ownership structure as well as how the airline will operate side by side indigenous carriers who have international operations. Medview Airlines and Arik Air currently have international operations. While the latter is struggling under a huge pile of debt, the former is a viable but a smaller operator that can be drowned should the new national carrier become a monopoly.

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