By Dipo Olowookere
Since Nigeria Air was unveiled last week in London as the nation’s new national carrier, there have been controversies over things put in place for the smooth take off of the business, which government said it only has 5 percent stake in.
During the unveiling by the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, it was said talks were still ongoing on getting investors to key into the project.
It was also disclosed that Nigeria Air would require about $308.8 million as preliminary and take-off cost.
Further information revealed that the new will receive the first set of 5 airplanes on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
According to Mr Dapo Williams, “We will make the investments and follow the business plan through private sector management.
“We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in 5 years. But we will begin with 5 aircrafts on the day of launch. Government would step in to cover the funding gap at the onset and ease out thereafter.”
However, he clarified that, “Government would not get involved in the management of the Nigeria Air.
“The Airline would take advantage of Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) that the country had with over 70 countries. It will also take advantage of the Africa Single Air Transport Market and will be the best player if the government gets it right.”
“The government would bring its contribution to kick-start the Airline. The amount of equity the partners would hold would determine government contribution.
“The start-up cost over the next 3 years is about $300 million, but pre-start-up is $8.8 million. The rest of the investment will be equity injection which will happen in tranches.
“Government will provide financial needed to make it take off, but the National Carrier will be entirely private sector controlled. There will be zero government interference. The government will have to spend the pre-start-up cost like the brand name, the office and other start-up cost.
“It will be a world class airline with domestic, regional and international operations. The airline will provide opportunities for investors at all levels of supply chain,” Mr Williams added.
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