Nigeria plans to unveil its National carrier in UK this month

Nigeria will before the end of this year have its proposed National airline. This announcement which was made known by the Country’s Minister of State for Aviation and former pilot Hadi Sirika comes about a year and six months after he told Journalists that Nigeria will have a very strong, viable national airline before the end of 2017.

It is also worthy to note that Sirika announced the new date of having a national carrier before the end of 2018 while receiving the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline from the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah.

The proposed airline which is expected to gulp $8.8 million preliminary cost and $300 million as take-off cost is driven by the public and private sector partnership. The country made this decision by taking a clue from Ethiopian airline this is because it has been proven that the government is incapable of running a national carrier on its own.

Sirika also said that the rest of the investment will be equity injection which will happen in tranches. The national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled as there will be zero government interference. He also said that this project is a bankable business, and the government will get a strategic partner who will invest in the national carrier. The government will have to spend on the pre-startup cost like the brand name and office.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NANS), Sirika said that they intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years. But they will begin with five aircraft on the day of the launch which it will receive on December 19.

“At Farnborough International Public Airshow coming July 18, 2018, in London, we will unveil the name, logo, colour scheme, the structure and the type of aeroplane about the national carrier. We will also place the order for the aircraft at the event,” Sirika said.

This news about unveiling the national carrier at Farnborough International Public Airshow was also confirmed in a tweet by Bashir Ahmed, Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on New Media.

This news on why Nigeria decided to launch its national carrier at an international airshow first rather than launching in its country have received different opinions. Some Nigerians have seen this as a shame to the Nation while others support the launch saying that since it is an Airshow it would be a good place to unveil in order to help the country get more investors to invest in the National carrier which requires a lot of capital. Even though having a national carrier is a huge step in the right direction, there is, however, a huge cause of concern because what the country will be unveiling at the Airshow is a mere idea and not the aircraft which might not be ready by the end of 2018 as quoted by Sirika. While the country takes this step in having a national carrier it also needs to look into the issues plaguing its aviation industry such as poor facilities in the airport terminal and poor security. Currently, the country cannot even boast of having one of the best airports in Africa.