Nigeria on Monday took a major step towards establishing a new national airline with the inauguration of a committee in Abuja to look into the issue.
A press statement issued by the Ministry of Aviation said Permanent Secretary Hajya Binta Bello charged the Ministerial Committee on the Establishment of a National Carrier to pursue the assignment with vigor in view of its national importance.
Ms. Bello said the inauguration of the Committee became imperative in view of the interest shown in the venture by President Muhammadu Buhari and his recent marching directives to the Ministry to immediately commence the process of establishing one
“Hajiya Binta Bello said the establishment of a national carrier is not only justified by economic considerations, but also strategic national interest, national pride and job creation potentials,” the Ministry said.
Captain Mohammed Abdulsalam, a former Managing Director of Discovery Airlines will serve as the chairman of the panel. It is tasked with reviewing previous Consultants’ submissions and recommendations on a National Carrier, and reviews the report on the failure of the defunct Nigeria Airways and other failed private airlines.
The Committee is also mandated to consult widely with stakeholders, including interested international partners, on the establishment of a National Carrier on a Public-Private Partnership model.
The Permanent Secretary also charged the Committee to invite the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to determine the debt profile of domestic airlines to serve as a guide in its recommendations, and to develop the optimum model for a National Carrier for Nigeria.
Responding on behalf of other members, Captain Mohammed Abdulsalam regretted the issues that led to collapse of the defunct Nigeria Airways and promised that they would develop an economically robust model that would stand the test of time and meet the aspirations of Nigeria as a nation.
The Ministerial Committee on the Establishment of a National Carrier will report in four weeks.