Nigeria’ll Have A National Carrier Before End of 2022 – Says Aviation Minister

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has promised that Nigeria would have its own national carrier before the end of 2022.

Sirika disclosed this at a two-day Africa Public Private Partnership Network Investment programme which was held recently in Abuja.

Meanwhile in July 2018, the government unveiled Nigeria Air in the United Kingdom, the nation’s proposed national carrier.

The minister, represented by the Commissioner and CEO Accident Investigation Bureau, Mr Akin Olateru confirmed that the Air Transport License had been issued.

“We have a team in place, the Air Transport License has been issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. We are in the process of processing the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) which will lead to the start of the airline.

“When you are setting up an airline, there are five phases for the AOC process.”

He added that “You need to bring in airplanes when you are in phase three. So in phases one and two, you do not need to bring an airplane but you need to have identified them.

“But because people do not understand the process in aviation, they see it as another business. But aviation has its peculiarities and strict guidelines in everything we do.”

The programme with the theme, “Financing Africa’s Infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP),” was organised by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.

The panellist who discussed the topic “Transforming the Aviation Sector through Private Sector Participation” underscored the need for funding from private investment in the sector to ensure efficiency.

Also speaking, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu admitted that funding was a critical function in the aviation sector for it to function optimally.

While noting also that funding is the lifeblood, Yadudu said, “You can have all the technical skills but without funding, the sector cannot function.

“Equipment and facilities need to be replaced and maintained as and when due”.

He hinted also that if stakeholders do not have confidence in the sector, then “We cannot function. Our workers will not work if they do not feel safe using the equipment.

“If you get the stakeholders’ confidence, you would get the right participation. PPP is the way to go not only in aviation but in all sectors”.

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