The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has revealed that the US and France are interested in the Nigeria Air project.
Concise News had reported that the Nigeria Air Project was suspended by the Federal Government.
Speaking on Thursday in Abuja at the 5th Aviation Stakeholders’ Forum, Sirika noted that the national carrier was suspended since first Transaction Adviser, Lufthansa, that was to spell out the ownership model in the privatisation and shareholding process, did not finish the process.
“There was fake news that we suspended the process because there was no investor,” he said.
“That is not true. Already IDB, AfDB, AFREXIM, US-EXIM, Standard Chartered Bank, Boeing, Airbus, COMAC/CCECC, BOAD, China-Exim, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Deutche Infrastructure Finance, all of them, including the governments of France and US, have written us to say they are committed to this project, that they want to donate and partner.
“And you know why? It is because they want to export their markets. They want to sell their aircraft.
“And this is because we don’t have and we can’t produce aircraft. So their (US and France) governments have the responsibility to promote their businesses and that is why they wrote to us that they want to partner. So we have investors.”
He added that the“Estimated working capital for 2019 is $100m. Estimated working capital for 2020 of $145m to be provided by the strategic equity partners who are expected to manage the project.”
According to him, “The suggestion that Aero and Arik airlines, which are under the control of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, should be merged to form a national carrier is not tenable as the national carrier would get entangled with huge indebtedness of the airlines, litigations and other encumbrances.”