THE proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air, is currently attracting a lot of investors, as many organisations are showing interest to invest in the airline, the Federal Government said on Tuesday.
It stated that the recent offer by Emirates Airlines to partner with the Nigerian government in the country’s quest to establish a national carrier was an indication of the high interest of foreign investors in Nigeria Air.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had stated on Sunday that the offer by Emirates could not be anything other than an endorsement of the need, zeal, and, of course, the process for the national carrier project.
Sirika, who spoke through his Special Assistant, Public Affairs, James Odaudu, had stated that Emirates’ offer was also an expression of confidence of the international aviation community in the commitment of the Federal Government to the project.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.509.0_en.html#goog_1615305632
It was, however, learnt on Tuesday that aside from Emirates Airlines, many other investors had shown interest in the project, especially foreign businesses.
Asked whether other investors were showing interest in the proposed airline, Odaudu said, “For that I can tell you that a lot of investors are interested.”
He, however, did not disclose the names of the other investors, stressing that their proposals had been coming in and that this would be handled by the stipulated body before the announcement of a preferred bidder.
“In fact, that is why we issued the statement reacting to the offer by Emirates and that offer alone shows that there is a lot of interest in the project,” Odaudu stated.
He added, “And then it (Emirates offer) is an encouragement to those who are bidding to be part of it.”
Speaking during a recent panel session moderated by Richard Quest to discuss the future of Aviation at the Dubai Expo 2020, the President of Emirates Airlines, Tim Clark, said the organisation would be very happy to help if any assistance was required in starting the national carrier.
Clark, who was speaking in support of the position of Nigeria’s aviation, said the establishment of a national carrier was an almost compelling case for Nigeria, going by certain indices.
“Of course, Nigeria needs a National Airline. There is an enormous business case for the national carrier,” he was quoted as saying.
The Emirates boss added, “Nigerians are seeking to travel all over the world. Nigeria is a powerhouse of Africa. We are very interested in flying there because it is a rich nation in terms of demand for services.”
Meanwhile, Odaudu told our correspondent that the target to get the airline running before the expiration of the current administration would be achieved.
“For sure this will be achieved, for us to have advertised for proposals and, of course, it has a terminal date, and once the proposals come in, it is now for whoever is in charge to sit down and evaluate the proposals and the preferred bidder will be announced,” he stated.