National carrier suspended not killed – Sirika
There may be a ray of hope for Nigeria Air, as the minister of state Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said that the last weeks pronouncement by the federal government did not indicate an end to the multibillion dollar project.
It would be recalled that the federal executive council, had as its last sitting suspended the proposed national carrier .
The action of the federal government had generated mixed reaction from the stakeholder both within and outside the aviation sector with many describing it as a project that lacked proper conceptualization.
In the face of these however ,the minister has clarified that the project has not died thereby raising hope of likely fine-toning of modalities.
The minister’s position was conveyed in a statement signed by the Deputy Director, Media & Public Affairs, James Odaudu on Tuesday.
Odaudu said the minister’s clarification was informed by the reports in the media which he said ” could not be farther from the truth”.
The statement reads in full: “The Office of the Honourable 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 bandied around 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.
“These include international finance institutions such as the Afro-Exim Bank, African Development Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, aircraft manufacturers – Airbus and Boeing, airlines such as Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Air etc. and some reputable individuals and entrepreneurs.
“The office also wants to clarify 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 as the public is being made to understand. It was also a meeting point with these 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. Theses clarifications have been made in the public interest”.
Stella Enenche , Abuja
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