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Sirika NAir

Absence of Minister derailing Ethiopian Airlines deal to drive Nigeria Air

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Friday’s revelation by the Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebremariam, that his group had been meeting with the Federal Government and relevant private sector players on plans to bring the proposed Nigeria Air to life, has come under threat due to lack of a supervising minister.
Though he was silent on what his company will gain if helps Nigeria set up national carrier, Gebremariam in an interview, decried that lack of a national carrier in Nigeria is giving undue rooms for international brands to have full day both in Nigeria and African air space.
He said “We have been discussing and exploring possibilities to establish or support a strong airline in Nigeria. I don’t mean that there is no strong airline in Nigeria, but we want an airline that can satisfy the demand of the domestic market, the regional market and international market.
“We are also in talks with Ghanaian government to establish Ghana Airways but the biggest market which is Nigeria has been a challenge to be honest with you. We make sure that when we start something; we start professionally and make sure that it succeeds.”
Even though Gebremariam failed to give further insights on why “Nigeria has been a challenge,” industry analysts say part of the current drawbacks may not be unconnected with the absence of a supervising minister of Aviation, who it is his duty to lead in such high calibre national discussions.
It would be recalled that even before the dissolution of the last federal cabinet, former Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, had countered the position of two senior ministers including the former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
Recall that Mohammed had told reporters earlier in the year at Lagos Airport that Nigeria Air flopped due to cold feet developed by initial investors while Amaechi, during his valedictory speech, revealed that what technically killed Nigeria Air discordant voices of council members at the Federal Executive Council were meeting.
However, Capt. Sirika in his parting claims brushed aside, both ministers position and maintained that plans for Nigeria Air are still ongoing.
As it is, the latest revelation of the Chief Executive of Ethiopian Airlines, may have given life to the assurance given by the former Minister of State for Aviation.

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