National carrier: Nigeria opens an offer to private investors

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Emirates Airlines has made a partnership offer with Nigeria in its quest to establish a national carrier.

In a statement on Monday in Abuja, Mr. James Odaudu, Special Assistant to Mr. Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, said Emirates Airlines Chairman Mr. Tim Clark made the offer during a table round at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Mr Clark said Emirates Airlines would be happy to help if assistance was requested for the start-up of the Nigerian national carrier, adding that this would prompt requests for clarification, mainly from media and industry players in the country. Nigeria.

Mr Clark came out in favor of the Nigerian aviation minister’s position that Nigeria had a dire need to establish a national carrier, according to some indications.

“Of course, Nigeria needs a national airline. There is enormous commercial profitability for the national carrier. Nigerians seek to travel all over the world. Nigeria is a power in Africa.

“We’re very interested in flying there because it’s a rich nation in terms of demand for services,” Clark said.

For his part, Mr Sirika said the offer from Emirates Airlines could not be anything other than an endorsement of the need, zeal and process of the proposed national carrier.

He said Emirates Airlines’ decision was also an expression of the international aviation community’s confidence in Nigeria’s commitment to owning its own airline.

He said the bid was an encouragement to the many bidders who are now preparing their public-private partnership (PPP) bids for Nigeria Air in response to Nigeria’s announced RFP.

Mr. Sirika assured that the process of acquiring the air operator certificate and air transport license was on track for the expected launch date of the flag carrier that Nigerians would be proud of.

“As has been repeatedly stated, the entire process of establishing the national carrier and all projects under the government’s aviation roadmap have been guided by the principles of transparency and accountability.

“Boldly, this will remain until the final delivery of the project,” said the minister.

Expo 2020 was a universal exhibition organized by Dubai from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022.

It was originally scheduled to run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, but due to COVID-19 disruptions, organizers retained the Expo 2020 name for marketing and branding purposes despite its postponement.

It is the latest development in the country’s plan to establish its long dream of a national carrier. Previously he opened the door to private investors.

The FG noted that the private sector partners should include – Nigerian financial and institutional investors (minimum of 46% shares), so that the total Nigerian shareholding will hold at least 51% of the shares of Nigeria Air (including 5% non-interactive FGN sharing), as required by international laws for a national carrier.

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