Still Waiting to Fly: Nigerian Govt Budgets N14.6bn for a 'Suspended' National Carrier Project in 3 Years

Still Waiting to Fly: Nigerian Govt Budgets N14.6bn for a 'Suspended' National Carrier Project in 3 Years

  • The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has consistently assured Nigerians that the operation of a new national air carrier will begin in the first quarter of 2022
  • This will come exactly four years after the fanfare that greeted the announcement of the Nigeria Air
  • In 2018, when it was launched, Sirika said the airline would gulp N3.60bn($8.8m) preliminary cost and 123.2bn ($300m) as take-off cost

Despite the uncertainties surrounding the launch of the national carrier project, the Federal Government has allocated N14.6 billion for it over the previous three years.

According to a report from Daily trust, the most recent funding for the project was N400 million for working capital and another N150 million for consulting.

Both are mentioned as ongoing projects in President Muhammadu Buhari's 2022 appropriation Bill, which was submitted last week.

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Nigeria Air was unveiled in July 2018 and suspended indefinitely in September of the same year.

Buhari wave goodbye
Buhari waves goodbye as he prepares to board a plane Credit: Photo by next24online/NurPhoto
Source: Depositphotos

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The airline was scheduled to commence operations on December 19, 2018. The proposed national carrier targeted 81 routes, comprising 40 domestic, regional and sub-regional and 41 international routes.

Breakdown of budgetary allocation

Since 2019 till date, budgetary provision has been made for the national carrier project beginning with N8bn as working capital and another N500m for transaction advisers.

In 2020, N4.6bn was provided in the budget for working capital while in the 2021 Appropriation Bill, another N1bn was provided as working capital for the national carrier. It was listed under the ongoing projects’ list of the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

With the latest N550m, the sum of N14.6bn would have been budgeted on the project since 2019 despite the suspension of the project.

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It was not clear whether the amount budgeted so far was released even as the Federal Government envisages that the proposed national carrier would be private sector driven with about five percent government equity.

The federal government early this year said it expects private investors to raise $250m for the proposed carrier as it insisted the project would be delivered before 2023.

After Returning From US, Nigerian Man Starts Airline Company

Meanwhile Legit.ng had earlier reported how a Nigerian man, Babawande Afolabi, made the news after his company, Green Africa Airways, took delivery of their second new aircraft.

According to the company's Facebook page, they plan to start airlifting people in places like Ilorin, Akure, Enugu among other places.

Afolabi who had his university education in the US has been praised for investing in the country at a time many have already lost hope

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Source: Legit

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