The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria would soon have a full private sector-driven national carrier.
He made the remark, while addressing journalists in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the sidelines of 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union.
Stressing that the government would provide enabling environment and support for the initiative, Sirika said the country would take advantage of the Single Air Transport Market launched by the African Union on Monday.
Apart from Nigerian entrepreneurs, the minister said that the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Chinese Exim Bank as well as countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Rwanda, Namibia and Niger Republic would participate in the initiative.
“We are very close to having a national carrier at the moment. We are at the stage of transaction services. We have affiliations which will be dealt with. I hope that within this week, you will hear from me on where we are. It will be soon.
“We have been having alliances, discussions and co-operations regarding establishment of a national carrier in Nigeria. It is going to be full private-sector driven. And if that happens, the government will provide enabling environment and support. And once that is done, Nigeria is on its way to greatness. Most importantly, the prices of tickets and the efficiency of service will be much better.
“Apart from entrepreneurs within Nigeria, institutions like African Development Bank have written to us that they are willing to support and partner with us to drive this process. Others are the Islamic Development Bank and the Exim Bank.
“Countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco and Egypt have been coming around to try to participate and partner with us. And lately, Rwanda, Namibia and Niger Republic joined the aforementioned nations. We are getting there soon,” Sirika said.