The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika on Thursday gave assurance that the newly launched Nigerian Air will not collapse like the defunct Nigerian Airways.
The minister stated this while delivering lecture at the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT)’s 47th convocation in Kaduna, saying that challenges that ran Nigerian Airways aground have been identified and taken care of.
Senator Sirika who was the Guest Speaker at the event with theme; ‘Civil-Military Partnership Towards Thriving Aviation Industry in Nigeria’, said the Nigeria Air is different from the grounded Nigeria airways.
According to him, “The ownership is different; it is different because it is private sector driven. As we insisted and it will have zero control by government. Government will own minority share of less than 5 per cent, and the team that will run this is entirely the business of investors. Government will not appoint anybody.
Secondly, it will be well capitalized. So, the issue of capital will not be a problem of this airline, because it won’t start until it has the requisite finance to be able to sustain it.
“Nigeria Airways died for so many reasons including governance issues and also that of finance.
“The Nigeria Airways was owned the government of Nigeria and over time it lost track and lost funding and someone decided to shut it down and it died.
“We saw it in many of airlines in Nigeria. I think if they change the style and begin to invest more in the airlines and improve on governance every airline has a potential because the market of Nigeria, the GDP is 450 Billion US Dollars officially. Nigerians travel, there are traders and there are a lot of tourist sites, people go to Nairobi to see wide life and lots more.” He said.
The Minister also disclosed that, a lot of Nigerian pilots will be absorbed when the new National Carrier commences operations.
He was however quick to say that, the Federal Government will have zero interference in the recruitment process when the Nigeria Air National Carrier begins its operations by December.
Sirika explained that, the airline was launched in London for visibility sake, but the investors would decide who runs their business
According to him: “Portal for employment in the National Carrier, the transaction adviser has just finished his work, the OBC will going to begin soon the procurement and there will be a web portal , the ICRC in Nigeria which is the infrastructural Concession Regulatory Commission is the only regulator of concession that I know in the world , that has a web portal in the work where they display everything transparently , so we will create a portal, the recruitment will not be done by the ministry because government will have zero interference in this carrier zero.
“No management controls what so ever, no step in right, so that it will succeed. But I want to warn you that the people who are going to do recruitment abinitio will be a company that is world class, top class, based on merit, so that the carrier will succeed.
“So if you go, and you are very good you will be taken, there will be no influence as minister cannot influence you to get that job at all, it will be based on merit.
“And soon after the investors will have come to invest its money, it will be the owners of that airline, which means the investors and the reserve we keep for Nigeria people – the board of directors then will decide who they hire and how it was managed, so that it will succeed because it has failed severally and we don’t want this one to fail.” said Senator Sirika.
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