Except for its indefinite suspension last Wednesday, the national carrier, Nigeria Air, was to cost Nigeria at least N180b yearly for the next 10 years, operators have said.
Local airlines operators, who are privy to the actual business design, as well as, the cost implications said the financial commitment, weaved into the five per cent equity, was mandatory to keep the airline up and running.
Even though the Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika did not give reasons for the suspension of the airline, which he earlier said would takeoff on December 24, 2018, The Guardian’s investigation showed that the development was not unconnected with investors’ apathy, ownership structure and funding issues.
It was further learnt that the huge financial request forced the last Federal Executive Council (FEC) to drop Nigeria Air off the priority list, since it was not budgeted for anywhere.While the operators described the indefinite suspension of the launch as a step in the right direction, sources hinted that over a billion naira had been sunk into the business case design, work by the transaction advisory team in the last two years, and unveiling of the logo in London recently.
The Guardian, September 23, 2018
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