The Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidioka has said that his administrations in collaboration with private investors are about setting up a new flag carrier as the Airport infrastructure is being expanded adding that Nigeria would spend about $2 billion over four years on rebuilding old airport terminals and constructing new ones as demand for travel increases.
Chidioka said conversations were on with many possible private sector organisations both local Airlines in Nigeria and some international airlines, even as he stated that Ethiopian Airlines Enterprise and Kenya Airlines Ltd. have emerged as global players in recent years as Nigeria as the most populous African nation has lacked a major carrier since the demise of Nigeria Airways a decade ago.
Speaking further, he said the initiative would allow for fast expansion of Gulf operators such as Dubai based Emirates to join older European players in grabbing the most lucrative long haul traffic.
Meanwhile, Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, signed a $500 million loan agreement last year with the Export -Import Bank of China to fund new terminals in four cities including the Federal Capital, Abuja, the commercial hub of the country, Lagos, the southern oil canter of Port Harcourt and the northern city of Kano.
According to the Minister, “We are totally changing the face of four key Airports,” adding that Nigeria is Studying the possibility of attracting private capital to do that.
The government is also building 13 cargo airports across the country for export of perishable agriculture produce such as pineapples, Mangoes and tomatoes and about $1 billion has been provided for the current plans, another $1 billion is to be provided for earmarked project duration of four years, according to Chidioka.
He said we have build infrastructure that match our aspiration as the government wants to start a national carrier within the same period to tap growth saying that the process will be commercially run.