Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation on Monday said that plans were underway by the Federal Government to revisit the national carrier project.
The minister made this known while defending the ministry’s budget before the Senate Committee on Aviation in Abuja.
He said that the ministry only suspended the project to put adequate measures in place, promising that the project would be delivered soon.
He said the project, which was President Muhammadu Buhari’s brainchild would not be allowed to die.
He expressed concern that despite being a huge aviation market, Nigeria could not boast of a national carrier.
He said ”We have to suspend the earlier plans for the national carrier for strategic reasons. The move was not killed.
”Provisions have to be made to continue to fund activities of advisers and so on, to ensure that it is delivered.
”The carrier will be delivered within the life of this administration, this I can assure you.
”It is not forgotten by government. It will continue and we are doing everything we can to deliver it,” he said.
The minister, however, stated that the carrier would not be funded solely by government.
”It is Public Private Partnership (PPP). The private sector will lead and deliver while the government will play its role.
”Viability funding is also being addressed. After that, then the full business case which is the implementation stage. It is at that point that it will be advertised for people to come in and participate,” he said.
He said that the process would be transparently done through local and international fora and media.
He added that anybody who was interested in getting in information on funds spent and other processes was free to do so, stressing that the ministry would be willing to respond.
The minister lamented that besides the huge revenue loss due to absence of a national carrier, Nigerians still pay exorbitantly to use air carriers belonging to other countries.