No less than $350 million is required for takeoff of the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air. Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika, who made this known yesterday in Abuja, said the Federal Government woud l contribute about $17.5million representing about five per cent equity stake.
Sirika explained that 46 per cent of the total fund would be from Nigerian investors (MRS and SAHCO) while the remaining 49 per cent would be provided by Ethiopian Airline Consortium.
The minister also called on foreign airlines whose funds are trapped in Nigeria to show more respect and understanding rather than issuing threats.
He spoke during the presentation of the scorecard of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on aviation.
The minister said the aviation roadmap of the Buhari administration, which is above 90 per cent level, would be completed April next year.
Sirika listed the components of the roadmap as airport concession, maintenance, repair and overhaul workshop and the floating of the national carrier amongst others.
He said: “We said the government has no business in business and we saw it in Nigeria Airways. It went down simply because of governance, issue of free tickets and attitude of nobody owns it because everybody owns it. We need some shoulders for the government to lean on. So, in this new carrier, Nigerian government will get five percent.
“The five percent is for all the 215million people because government has no business in business and cannot run it. That is the truth. About 46 percent of the equity in the airline will be for Nigerian Institutional investors who are interested in it. When you add it together, you have 51 percent for Nigerians. This is on purpose and it is deliberate so that we can have controlling shares
“Even the five per cent of the government can be sold later once we are on our ground. The equity partner and investors will now invest 49 percent. So, Ethiopian Airline (ET) and other consortium will come and invest.
“The total for now is $350million to start the airline. So, Ethiopian Airline is expected to bring 49per cent of $350million and the rest five per cent, which is about $17.5million is for Nigerian government and the remaining 46 percent will be for the Nigerian institutional investors.”