President Muhammadu Buhari
The Federal Government of Nigeria has pledged that it will deliver the national carrier, Nigeria Air, before 2023.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen on the sideline of 2021 budget defense session organised by the Senate Committee on Aviation.
He said the national carrier was part of the aviation sector roadmap, which will be delivered before 2023.
Speaking on the national carrier, he said: “We are on it.
“The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case.
“It is being reviewed by ICRC.
“Soon after it finishes, it will go to FEC and it will be approved.
“We will not leave this government without having it in place.”
Earlier during the defense session, the minister disclosed that new airports were under construction in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Yobe and Anambra states.
Sirika said the Aviation sector was the fastest growing sector of the economy, hence the Federal Government’s decision to build the new airports.
“Consequent upon that roadmap, we have seen aviation grow in 2018 to become the second fastest growing sector of the economy and by 2019, it became the fastest growing sector of the economy and increased its GDP contribution.
“From 2015 till now, we’ve seen a lot of growth in civil aviation, number of airports is increasing.
“So far, about seven airports have been added to the map, some of them completed, some of them under construction.
“There are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so forth.
“All of these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration.
“So, we have about 10 new airports coming up, that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria.
“So we are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports,” Sirika said.
On the issues of dilapidated equipment at some airports across the country, Sirika said it is a work in progress as the airports were being attended to based on priorities.
“We have been improving these airports one airport after another.
“We don’t have the resources to take them all at once.
“We are attending to them, we look at an airport and find which is that safety item and which is that item of security that needs attention first before we now turn to other matters.
“Certainly, we are making Ilorin one of the best airports because in the first place it was an alternate for Lagos,” Sirika said.