The plan to realise a national carrier by December 24, 2019 as stipulated by the federal government has advanced as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has issued Outline Business Case Compliance Certificate for the actualisation of the project.
This was disclosed by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who insisted that the December target for the airline is a reality, just as he noted that the federal government would maintain zero management interference but would provide funds for aircraft acquisition and start-up of the company.
Sirika, who made the announcement through his twitter handle(@hadisirika), said: â€œGlad to announce that we received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the National Carrier project from ICRC. The December kick off date of the project is slowly becoming reality.â€
The certificate was signed by ICRC Acting Director General, Chidi K.C Izuwah, and it is a four paragraph letter with project titled: The Establishment of a National Carrier on a joint Venture (JV) PPP arrangement.
â€œThe infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has reviewed the Project Structure Report PRS/Outline Business Case (OBC) submitted by the Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) for the Establishment of a National Carrier via a Joint Venture(JV) PPP arrangement,â€ stated the certificate by the ICRC.
â€œBased upon as assessment and review of the PSR/OBC, market study and all other information available, this certificate confirms that the submission is in substantial compliance with the ICRC Act, 2005 and the National Policy on Public Private Partnership.â€
The third paragraph of the certificate stated the condition upon which the certificate was issued and gave non-interference by the federal government is a major condition.
â€œThis certificate is granted on the condition that the federal government demonstrates her commitment to the leverage of the national carrier through the provision of an upfront grant/ Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to fund aircraft acquisition/start-up capital. The FGN also agrees to zero contribution to airline management decisions and zero management control by the government. Any attempt to impose government control over the management of the airline invalidates this certificate and the entire process,â€ ICRC warned.
The validity of the certificate was stated to be 12 months. â€œIn view of the fact that the mitigating conditions for the project may change over time, this certificate is valid for 12 months from the date indicated below. This certificate is therefore issued to enable the Ministry to commence an international open competitive bidding process to procure a world-class strategic investor to manage, operate, maintain and invest in the national carrier,â€ he said.
Industry stakeholders believe that the national carrier would provide a springboard to the growth of the aviation industry.