By Odimmegwa Johnpeter/Abuja
The federal government has unveiled the equity share holders in the proposed National Carrier, Nigeria Air. Briefing journalists in Abuja, on Friday, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed that the federal government of Nigeria holds 5 percent equity in the soon to be launched Airlines.
The minister also announced that all necessary guidelines were followed in conjunction with ICRC in arriving at the preferred bidders.
“The Request for Proposal (RFP) under the PPP act, governed by ICRC, is completed. After a careful, detailed and ICRC-governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors MRS, SAHCO and FGN owning 5% and ET 49%. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process, after which the contract will be negotiated between the consortium and the FGN, leading to a Full Business Case, which will be expected to be approved Federal Executive Council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks” he said.
According to the Minister, the National Carrier, Nigeria Air, is well on its way to being launched with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market.
He said Nigeria Air will launch a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between these two major Nigerian Airports, adding that other domestic destinations will follow thereafter.
“An interim Executive Team of highly skilled Aviation Experts has been working since FEB 2022 to set up all the necessary regulatory and industry requirements to launch the National Carrier. All Executives have been approved by NCAA, the Air Transport License has been issued by NCAA, Nigeria Air (after having identified the first three aircraft) will now finalize all necessary Operation Manuals and then go through the inspection and approval process of NCAA.
“The money spent for the launch of Nigeria Air, for all the requirements to establish an AOC and be admitted starting an airline operation, is well within the 5% capital investment of the Federal Government of Nigeria, that will be overall needed to establish the National Carrier initially for the AOC approval and everything else required by stringent national aviation regulations, as prescribed in the FEC approved Outline Business Case (OBC).
“This OBC is the milestone for the preferred Bidder Consortium and has been met by the submitted business plan of the preferred bidder. It is the overall share capital of around 300 Mio USD, provided by the preferred bidder that will launch Nigeria Air to its full size of 30 aircraft and international operation within the next two years. No further FGN funding will be provided above the 5% share capital of the next national Carrier of Nigeria, which was provided to launch Nigeria Air,” stated the Minister.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Air has advertised the recruitment of Nigerian Captains, First Officers, Senior Cabin Crews, Cabin Crews and other critical staff.