National Carrier: Emirates endorsement excites Aviation Minister




The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has expressed optimism that with the array of investors willing to invest the proposed Nigeria National Carrier is enough to convince any doubting Thomas that the project is all but concluded.

The Minister at different fora maintained that the national carrier project will see the light of the day in April 2022 for which stakeholders and industry players are keenly awaiting its arrival.

Senator Sirika’s hope is premised on the supposed expression of the management of Emirates Airlines recently when it made an offer to partner with the Nigerian Government in its quest to establish a national carrier.

Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister, Dr. James Odaudu explained that while speaking recently during a panel session moderated by Richard Quest to discuss the future of Aviation at the Dubai Expo 2020, President of Emirates, Mr. Tim Clark, said the organization would be very happy to help if any assistance was required in starting the national carrier.

According to Clark who was speaking in support of the position of Nigeria’s Aviation Minister, the establishment of a national carrier is an almost compelling case for Nigeria, going by certain indices.

“Of course, Nigeria needs a National Airline. There is an enormous business case for the national carrier. Nigerians are seeking to travel all over the world. Nigeria is a power house of Africa. We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services,” Clark had said.

The Minister reiterated that the Emirates offers have elicited requests for clarification, mostly from the media and industry stakeholders.

According to him, ‘’the offer by Emirates cannot be anything other than an endorsement of the need, the zeal, and, of course, the process for the national carrier project. It is also an expression of confidence of the international aviation community in the commitment of the Buhari government to it.’’

The Minister also sees the offer as an encouragement to the many bidders currently preparing their PPP bids for Nigeria Air in response to the recently advertised Request for Proposal.

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