Nigeria Air, the country’s proposed national carrier, is set to commence operations before the end of the current administration, according to Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation. Speaking to State House correspondents, Sirika said that everything needed for the airline’s operations had been put in place and the aircraft, offices, operational centers, staffing and everything required had been checked. He expressed confidence that Nigeria Air would fly before May 29. The airline was issued with its Air Transport License (ATL) by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in 2022, but a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the NCAA not to issue an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to Nigeria Air Limited, following a suit filed by a group of domestic airliners.
The equity structure of the airline, which cedes 49 percent of its stake to Ethiopian Airlines, while the federal government has only five percent, with the remaining 46 percent for Nigerian investors, was challenged by domestic airline operators under the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON). Sirika assured that the planned takeoff of the airline will still happen despite the challenges. The airline would benefit Nigeria’s large population, traveling public, the economy, tourism, African integration, and the AU Agenda 2063, he added.
The recent strike by aviation workers was also discussed by Sirika. The workers had embarked on the strike due to poor conditions of service for the agencies, non-implementation of minimum wage, and the planned demolition of the headquarters or the office of FAAN in Lagos. Sirika said the issues of the conditions of service and minimum wage were being addressed by the appropriate authorities. On the demolition of the FAAN headquarters, Sirika stated that the FAAN building was a makeshift office made out of wood and panels, and was not befitting for the FAAN Lagos office. He added that the place would be removed, and offices, shopping malls, cinemas, hotels, and car parks would be erected in its place, in line with aerotropolis components.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Works and Housing has announced the delivery dates for some of the key projects executed by the administration. The Second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, as well as two sections of the Abuja-Kano Expressway, will be delivered on May 30, April 30, and June 2023, respectively.
Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, will soon commence operations despite the challenges it faced, and the government is committed to its success. Additionally, key projects executed by the administration, such as the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, will be delivered on April 30, providing a much-needed boost to infrastructure development in Nigeria.