The Federal Government of Nigerian has taken delivery of aircraft Boeing 737-800 Abuja to launch the ‘Nigeria Air’.
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Sen. Hadi Sirika, took delivery of the aircraft on behalf of the Federal Government, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, on Friday in Abuja.
Sirika said the number of aircraft in the fleet would grow e to 35 aircraft by 2028.
According to him, this is in fulfilment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to revive the national carrier before the end of his tenure.
The new Nigerian airline (Nigeria Air) is one of Buhari’s 2015 election campaign promises.
Ethiopian Airlines, the preferred bidder,
will own a 49 per cent stake in the new airline.
The Nigerian Sovereign Fund will take 46 per cent and the Federal Government takes the remaining five per cent.
”We in the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace understand the importance of infrastructure as a catalyst for economic growth and development.
”These infrastructure include the soft infrastructure of airlines.
”The preferred bidder (Ethiopian Airline, the second largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, is largely dependent on Ethiopian Airline.
”They have been operating the airline for over 70 years.
”Also, Ethiopia is the only airline, with Qatar, to record $1billion during COVID-19.
”Airline infrastructure is a driver of the economy; it is a catalyst for growth and the economy,” the minister said.
According to him, air transportation is key to achieving AU Agenda 2063 in Aviation.
The agenda is Africa’s blueprint and master plan for transforming the continent into global powerhouse of future, Sirika said.
He explained that the agenda aimed to deliver on Africa’s goal for inclusive sustainable development.
It is also a concrete manifestation of the pan-African drive for unity, self-determination, freedom, progress and collective prosperity.
All these are being pursued under Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
”Nigeria, by the grace of God Almighty, we are the centre of Africa.
“We are more than 250 million vibrant brilliant people, who travel a lot via aircraft.
“So, we have population, we have geography and we have the economy.
”The country also has the people and the market.
“Nigeria has the largest population in Africa followed by Ethiopia.
“So, it is a laudable process we went through,” Sirika said.
According to him, all projects in the aviation roadmap would be driven by Public Private Partnership for better performance.
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