The Federal Government has reassured that the December 2018 deadline for the take of the national carrier will be met.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika also debunked the notion that the take off of the national carrier would end the operations of other domestic airlines in the country.
He spoke while receiving the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance from the Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr Chidi Izuwah.
The presentation of the Certificate of Compliance is an official approval of the process which the project has gone through so far.
According to a statement in Abuja by the Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs of ministry, Sirika said the importance of the national carrier was the reason the government decided to take the option of a Public Private Partnership (PPP), adding that it was the only way to deliver a national carrier that would stand the test of time.
On the claims that the national carrier would sound the death knell for other airlines operating in the country, he said: “Nigeria, with a population of over 180million people with so many unserviced routes offers more than enough space for all serious airlines to operate profitably”.
He commended the efforts of the ICRC Director General and his team in ensuring that the National Carrier project remained on track through the observation of all legal aid regulatory frameworks.
The Minister also expressed satisfaction with the way the Transaction Advisers have carried out their assignments with utmost diligence and timeliness, assuring that the National Carrier that would be delivered would be world class in operation and management.
Speaking earlier, the DG of ICRC, Engr Chidi Izuwah said the presentation of the Certificate of Compliance was an official green light to proceed with the procurement process.
He said that his Commission, in granting the Certificate reviewed the Project Structuring Report, also known as the Outline Business Case, in line with the ICRC Act of 2005.
According Izuwah, the Certificate was granted on the condition that the Federal government has committed to leveraging on private sector capital and expertise towards the establishment of the national carrier through the provision of a Viability Gap Funding for the project.
He stated other conditions for granting the Certificate of Compliance to an official commitment to zero contribution to airline management decisions and zero government, control, warning that any attempt to impose government control would invalidate the Certificate and the entire process.
He also said PPP was the only viable option for Nigeria in view of dwindling national resources.
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