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Stakeholders kick against FG insists on Nigeria Air

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Stakeholders kick against FG insists on Nigeria Air

The Federal Government declared Wednesday that planned take off of Nigeria Air in December will come to pass despite opposition against the plan by domestic airline operators.

Domestic airline operators in Nigeria have been kicking against the project on the ground of making Ethiopian Airline major investor in the business.

But the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in an interview with journalists at the sideline of interactive session the Senate Committee on Aviation had with the minister, heads of agencies in the Aviation sector and Domestic Airline operators, said no going back on the project scheduled to take off in December this year.

“Nigeria Air is a company that is registered and known to the laws of Nigeria which will become by the God’s grace the much awaited airline.

“It is going to happen by the grace of God between now and December of this year. It will fly and also compete fairly with all of those existing airlines.

“The intent is not to kill any business. The intent is to help to promote all businesses to be able to provide the needed service and employ our people.

“This is the intent and the more the merrier. The more that you have people doing businesses, then the one that does it better take the advantage and they give more service and the people get served more better.

“If everyone of them is doing very well without any favouritism, then it means that the competition will be healthy and will bring down the price of tickets and increase the propensity to fly and make more people to fly and then make more money for the airlines and give more service to the country Nigeria.

Stakeholders kick against FG insists on Nigeria Air

“The idea is a very good one. Whether it will be established by the grace of God it will be established and it will be for the people,” he said.

In their submissions before the committee, the domestic airline operators said they are not against national carrier but against Ethiopian Airlines as major investor with 49 percent equity share.

The domestic airline operators who expressed their opposition to the plan by the President of Top Brass Aviation and former Managing Director of Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Roland Iyayi , said the project as conceived today , is inimical to domestic operators.

He said one of the domestic airlines supposed to have been used to drive the project as Ethiopian Airlines will within two years, run local operators out of market with highly favored incentive of 15 years tax holiday.

“Ethiopia does not have agenda to grow Nigeria. The agenda of Ethiopia over the years, has been on aviation colonialism in Africa.

“The national carrier or Nigeria Air project if well implemented, would be a good legacy but as it is presently conceived, it will end up to be legacy that will lead to demise of local Airlines,” he said.

Apparently disturbed by the the conflicting submissions from the minister and domestic airliners, the committee chaired by Senator Biodun Olujimi (PDP Ekiti South), resolved to have another session with them in two weeks time for way out of the contentious issues before take off of the Nigeria Air.

The national carrier as presently packaged, through Nigeria Air Limited, has equity shares control of 49 percent by Ethiopian Airlines, five percent by the federal government while the remaining 46 percent belongs to individual investors .

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Stakeholders kick against FG insists on Nigeria Air

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