By Dipo Olowookere
Nigerian authorities have commenced discussions with aircraft manufacturers and investors towards the unveiling of the national carrier, which is expected to be launched before the end of this year.
Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this on Monday via a statement issued by the Deputy Director in charge Media and Public Affairs at the ministry, Mr James Odaudu, said he was at the ongoing Farnborough International Air Show in the United Kingdom to woo investors on this laudable initiative.
The country used to have a national carrier, Nigeria Airways, but was liquidated by the administration of Mr Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003 over mismanagement.
In the statement, Mr Sirika he met with the management of renowned airplane manufacturers, Airbus, to negotiate the acquisition of the desired aircraft for the nation.
Mr Sirika also disclosed that negotiations with Boeing and other Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) would take place on Tuesday (today).
According to the Minister, the ongoing International Air Show is an opportunity to negotiate with airline manufacturers with the view of getting the most competitive and best value-for-money deals for the country.
He said he would also explore every opportunity available at the air show, an event that brings the biggest and the best in the industry, to attract more prospective investors into the Nigerian aviation environment.
Mr Sirika explained that the show would provide an opportunity to establish a Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Nigeria, concession of some airports in the country and other components of the Aviation Roadmap the federal government.
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