Private investors are to raise $250m (N102.75bn at N411/$ official exchange rate) to start up Nigeria’s national airline, the Federal Government has said.
It disclosed this in a document on the updated status of the government’s aviation roadmap seen in Abuja at the Federal Ministry of Aviation on Wednesday.
The FMA also stated in the document that the procurement phase for the national carrier was the next step to be taken, as the project development phase had been completed.
It said, “The next set of steps will involve the commencement of procurement phase by placing advert for request for qualification in the national dailies and the foreign media.
“$250m approximately is to be raised to start up the airline by private investors.”
In July 2018, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the proposed new airline, Nigeria Air, and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, unveiled the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London that year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had stated.
But about three years down the line, no national carrier had been inaugurated, as against the initial plan to inaugurate the airline before the end of 2018.
In the roadmap seen on Wednesday, the government explained that the establishment of a national carrier would enable Nigeria gain optimal benefits from Bilateral Air Service Agreements, take full advantage of the Single African Air Transport Market and introduce competition.
It said, “The national carrier project will be private sector driven, with the government holding not more than five per cent of the shares.
“The private sector consortium may comprise reputable international airlines (such as Qantas), leasing companies, aircraft manufacturers (OEMs), financial and institutional investors.”
The government said it was providing the required support by creating the enabling environment in terms of sustainable policies, allocation of BASA routes, provision of financial guarantees and ensuring fiscal incentives to sustain the success of the airline.
It said the project development phase had been completed with the development of the Outline Business Case and subsequent issuance of compliance certificate by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission.