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FG suspends National Carrier project — Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari and some of the Council members at the meeting

By Sumaila Ogbaje

Abuja, Sept. 19, 2018

Federal Government has suspended the national carrier (Nigeria Air) project, according to the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.

Sirika, who spoke to newsmen in his office, on Wednesday, said the decision was taken at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting for strategic reasons.

He, however did not give details of the “strategic reasons” for the cancellation of the project.

He said: “Today the government at the FEC took decision to suspend the national carrier project till further notice.

“It has nothing to do with pressure from stake holders and it is also not for political reasons.

“The decision to come up with national carrier in the first place was as a result of the lack of capacity of the existing carrier to meet demands,” he said.

On the possible thinking of the international interested parties, Sirika said the government had shown serious commitment towards the project, adding that the suspension would not affect government’s credibility before international interested parties.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the minister had on July 18, unveiled the name and logo of the airline named “Nigeria Air” at the Farnborough Air Show in London.

He had announced that the airline would begin operation in December with an initial capital of 300 million dollars.

Sirika had also stated that the airline would be private sector driven with government controlling only 10 per cent of the equity.

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