The Federal Executive Council is divided on the modality for the establishment of the proposed national carrier called Nigeria Air, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced on Thursday.
Amaechi, who disclosed this during his valedictory press briefing in Abuja, revealed that members of the federal cabinet had different beliefs and positions as regards the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria, but was quick to state that the project had not been abandoned.
He said, “On national carrier, (the) cabinet is divided on the issue of modality. There are those who believe that the Federal Government should invest and then we can sell the equity later.
“There are also those who believe that no, and from day one they say let us get investors in and give them the franchise of Nigeria Airways or Air Nigeria or whatever it is called. That is where we are and that is what held it down. But as for whether it is still in our plan, it is and has not been abandoned.”
In September 2018, Aviators Africa reported the suspension of the planned commencement of operations of Nigeria Air by the Federal Government.
Although no reason was given for the suspension at the time the project was suspended, it was gathered then that the national carrier initiative had been put on hold in the interim.
The Federal Government, through its Ministry of Transportation, the Aviation arm, had announced in July that Nigeria Air would commence operation before the end of 2018.
“I regret to announce that the Federal Executive Council has taken the tough decision to suspend the national carrier project in the interim. All commitments due will be honoured. We thank the public for the support as always,” the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had tweeted in September 2018.