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Funding crisis, private sector loss of interest may silence Nigeria Air—Findings

Since the upgrade of former Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika to a full minister of Aviation, industry experts had expected him to hit the ground running on his earlier suspended project of reinventing a national carrier, the Nigeria Air.

Instead, in his first meeting with members of the Joint Aviation Unions Forum, he did not only reiterate that the establishment of the National Carrier, but Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities and implementation of other components of the Aviation Roadmap of the Federal Government.

Fact checks showed that as far as 2019 budget is concerned, there is no provision for floating a national carrier.

Besides, investigations show that the initial way and manner Senator Sirika initiated the Nigeria Air scheme without the involvement of indigenous stakeholders has created serious dislike amongst experts and possible investors, thus making it a herculean task to revive the initiative again even though he is now the full minister of aviation.

In his preliminary address to the aviation workers’ unions, Sirika said “I promise that there will be good understanding between us to drive the activities of our industry towards contributing more to national development.

“I will do everything reasonably possible to make the newly re-established ministry live up to the expectations of all stakeholders in the sector.

“This task, I think, is for you as well; not for me alone. It is for all of us. We will continue to hold stakeholders’ meetings with the unions, staff, the management and players within the industry.

“We will be committed to better welfare while expecting your full cooperation towards the implementation of The Aviation Roadmap which was developed during our first tenure,” Sirika averred.