FG Outlines Conditions for Partnership for National Carrier

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By Dele Ogbodo

The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, on Thursday outlined conditions under which it would go into a partnership with any interested party in its desire to re-establish a national carrier.

A statement signed on behalf of the minister by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs, Mr. James Odaudu, which was made available to reporters in Abuja, said interested parties must come to the negotiation table with plans for direct transfer of technology.

According to him, the companies must have comprehensive training for Nigerians, adding that they must also put in place plans for the local manufacture of basic maintenance equipment and spare parts in the country.

Sirika, who gave the terms while receiving representatives of Airbus in his office in Abuja, said setting the conditions was the only way to ensure that the proposed national airline comes on stream on a sound footing.

He expressed optimism at Airbus’ interest in partnering with Nigeria on the project, but challenged the aircraft manufacturer to be prepared for competition with other interested organizations in view of similar interests having been expressed due to Nigeria’s growing aviation profile.

The minister assured that President Muhammadu Buhari was personally committed and unwaveringly determined to establish a national airline, said the whole process of its establishment, including the choice of partners, would be transparent.

According to him, the vision of the government was to establish a national carrier that would not only be international competitive and profitable, but also efficiently and professionally managed while also being affordable and customer-centred.

Leader of the team and Sales Director of Airbus S.A.S, Marino Modena had informed the minister that they were in the country to seek ways of assisting in the launch and development of the proposed Nigerian national airline.

Modena listed areas of possible partnership to include profitability studies, marketing strategies for local, regional and international operations as well as training, maintenance and hangar development.

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