New National Carrier to take off 2022 — FG

The Federal Government Wednesday said that it was on course in its determination to provide a national carrier to the country.

The government said that the initial plan to establish a national carrier in 2021 was affected by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, adding that the project will be realised the first quarter of 2022.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the virtual Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Fielding questions from journalists, he said that there was no going back on getting a national carrier for the country.

According to him, “It is still on top gear; we are coming back to the council; hopefully in the next two weeks to present the memo on the national carrier. We went to the council to approve the outline business case for the carrier; then, the council raised some questions and asked us to go and look at the memo again and bring it back.

“So, once it comes back and the outline business case is approved by council, we will go to the full business case which is now going to the market and establishing the national carrier.

“It is our intention to have the national carrier running in 2021, which is this year; unfortunately, due to COVID-19, which took the greater part of last year, since March last year, activities have almost been impossible.”

He said that though the pandemic negatively affected civil aviation, in terms of the establishment of the national carrier, it made it a much better time to establish the carrier than before.

Sirika said that for obvious reasons, Nigeria would have fast access to equipment; deliveries of the aircraft would be faster and the rates might be cheaper.

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