– The minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, has explained the reason behind the suspension of the national carrier
– He stated that the carrier was suspended due the failure of transaction adviser to fulfill its own right
– Sirika also boasted that investors from Qatar, France and US have shown interest in the project
The minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, while speaking at the 5th Aviation Stakeholders’ Forum (ASF) in Abuja, has boasted that the United States and France are interested in the Nigerian Air.
The Punch reports that the minister stated that contrary to the rumour that the national carrier of the country was suspended due to lack of investors, it was because the first transaction adviser, Lufthansa, that was to spell out the ownership model in the privatisation and shareholding process, failed on its side to complete the process.
Legit.ng gathers the minister also stated that Lufthansa was replaced due to its outrageous demands including opening an escrow account, refusal to pay tax and demand for 75 per cent upfront payment.
Sirika said following the termination of contract with Lufthansa, investors from France, US, among others have desperately shown interest in the project.
He explained: “There was fake news that we suspended the process because there was no investor. 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.”
On the amount figure required for the start-up of the project, Sirika said: “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.
“The suggestion that Aero and Arik airlines, which are under the control of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCN), 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.
“The transaction adviser for the national carrier coordinated the campaign and provided the additional services that included the development of the brand strategy and the media strategies relating to the unveiling of the airline.”
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Previously, Legit.ng reported that the federal government had reportedly suspended its planned national carrier, Nigeria Air, indefinitely.
Senator Hadi Sirika who is the minister of state for aviation disclosed this on Wednesday, September 19, in Abuja.
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