Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Thursday March 23, insisted the controversial national carrier, Nigerian Air, will fly before May,29th, 2023.
Sirika who gave the assurance at the 10th aviation stakeholders forum in Abuja further said the benefits Nigeria stands to derive from the establishment of the national carrier are to reduced capital flight from Nigeria, gain the optimal benefit of Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) and Single Air Transport Market (SAATM) and develop an aviation hub.
He said local and International flights will commence soon adding, “Negotiation meeting with the Ethiopian Airlines Group Consortium and the Federal Government of Nigeria ongoing.”
He further revealed that the National Carrier project is 98 percent completed, and that the successful implementation of the Aviation roadmap will gulp $14.166 billion.
According to him, “Strong National Carrier that will take advantage of our potentials conclusion, a recent Aviation sector study for Nigeria by International Air Transportation Association (IATA) in June 2020, showcases the significant contribution of air transportation to the National economy, through providing 241,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and a contribution of $1.7 billion to the National economy.
“With the successful implementation of the roadmap projects, our overall goal is to grow the Aviation sectors contribution from the current 0.6% to 5% (approximately $14.166 billion).
“Furthermore, we have successfully debunked the gospel truth that
aviation doubles every 15 years. Currently in Nigeria, the number of
airports including those currently being developed has doubled.
“Passenger number has doubled, other entrepreneurships including
catering and ground handling has blossomed, number of airlines and
jobs has multiplied.”
On designation of five International Airports (Lagos, Abuja, Enugu Kano & Port Harcourt) as Special Economic Zones, he said its benefits were more efficient and business-friendly trade environment with less bureaucratic red tape, because of the associated fiscal incentives and packages.
“To attract world class international and local Airlines/Companies into the Nigeria Aviation Industry;attract investment incentives which include; Investment Policies and Protection, General Tax Based Incentives, Sector Specific Incentives, Tariff Based Incentives and Export Incentives.
“Others are attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and generate employment opportunities and human capital development, thus stimulating the overall improvement of the Nigerian Aviation Industry; improve the overall ease of doing business in Nigeria which is in line with Federal Government’s commitments towards national economic development.
“Fast track the upgrade and development of new infrastructure/facilities at the airports; generate additional non-aeronautical source of revenue to the Aviation Industry; and to harness the social-economic benefits derivable from Civil Aviation,” he said.