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Nigerian Airways coming back, airport security to carry arms—Minister

Barring any policy summersault before the end of the year, indications have emerged that before the end of the year Nigeria will have a national carrier as plans are concluded for aviation security personnel will begin to carry arms.

Besides, the federal executive council has approved the completion of Kaduna airport terminal building at the cost of N1 billion.

This disclosure was made by the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Wednesday.

Serika said the national airline will be private sector driven unlike the Ethiopian airline which is government run.

According to the Minister, “When we came in we were very clear on our targets and goals and what we set out to achieve and we did say that Nigeria does not a national airline. The national airline will be one that the government will have no hand in, normally it can have three percent. It will be private sector led, private sector driven”.

“We are going to have a national carrier, it is on course and because it is a PPP thing it has to go through IC and C, and also has to follow all the due process. So it is time consuming but I hope very soon before the end of the year we will have a very strong viable national airline.

“For me if any airline  will have the capacity to deploy several aircrafts with seamless operation, non disruptive, provide the service, go the long haul, take advantage and give other international airlines a run for their money, we don’t need to get involved, it is because there is none.

While assuring that the government is addressing all of this concerns around the idea, he noted that “We are going to establish this national carrier and it will give good service.

“This is the solution because Nigeria has the market, we are 180 million, we are sitting in West Africa and in the West African market we are 450 million and Nigeria is the major player.

“If you add the Central Africa which is the Central belt we are 600million people which is equivalent to the US market and also equal to the European market, he added.