- Senator Hadi Sirika said the suspension of the Nigeria Air project was not due to lack of investors
- The minister said international institutions were interested in the project
- He insisted the project has not been killed yet
The minister of state, aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has disclosed that the national carrier (Nigeria Air) project was not suspended because of lack of investors.
A statement by James Odaudu, deputy director, media and public affairs, Ministry of Transportation, on Tuesday, September 25, said the national carrier project had an avalanche of well-grounded and ready investors.
The investors, according to Sirika, include international finance institutions such as the Afro-Exim Bank, African Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, aircraft manufacturers – Airbus and Boeing.
“They also include airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Air etc. and some reputable individuals and entrepreneurs.
“The Office of the Minister of state for Aviation has noted, with consternation, various opinions, comments and observations in the media regarding the status and the reasons for the recent suspension of the processes leading to the establishment of a Nigerian national carrier.
“Among the reasons being given for its suspension, especially in the social media is the absence of interested and ready investors.
“This couldn’t be farther from the truth, as the national carrier project has an avalanche of well-grounded and ready investors," he said.
The minister also stated that the country’s participation at the Farnborough Air Show in the United Kingdom in July was not for the sole purpose of unveiling the Nigeria Air logo contrary to public belief.
He explained that the air show was also a meeting point with those potential investors who saw the event as another opportunity to market and re-emphasize their interests in the project.
“It is also pertinent to clarify that the Federal Executive Council only suspended the process for the establishment of the national carrier for the time being. The project has not been killed,” he said.
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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Sirika had on September 19, announced the decision of FEC to suspend the project for ‘strategic reasons’ without giving further details.
The decision has elicited reactions from many stakeholders and other Nigerians who have suggested different reasons for the suspension of the project.
Legit.ng had reported that following report of the federal government’s suspension of its national carrier, Nigeria Air, sources within the presidency have reportedly revealed that the Economic Management Team did not give the go-ahead.
Leadership reports that the EMT which is chaired by vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was against the project.
The source said the team recommended that the government should not use public fund to run a national carrier.
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