Nigerians will soon have cause to smile as the Federal Government moves to float a new national carrier next year, the Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika, has said.
To ensure smooth take off of the proposed national carrier, the government will next week appoint a transaction adviser.
Addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Sirika, said that “between now and Wednesday next week, we will appoint a transaction adviser for the proposed national carrier. Once that is in place, Nigerians will have options, there will be competition, good aircraft and this will bring the prices (fares) down”.
The minister stressed that the government was looking at starting the national carrier within the next 12 months, adding that unlike in the past when the Federal Government wholly owned the Nigeria Airways, the proposed national airline will be run by the private sector with the government having only a five percent stake.
Sirika, who did not name those interested to serve as the transaction advisors, said that “we do not want to discourage anybody from participating.
“We want to make it broad-based and we want as many people as possible on board. We want people to compete. Just wait and at the right time we will let Nigerians know those who will be involved in the new carrier”.
It would be recalled that a 13-member committee set up by the federal government last year, to come up with a document on the establishment of a national carrier, had since submitted its report.