Nigeria Air plane to be delivered by Friday, says Sirika


Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, says an aircraft belonging to Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, will arrive in the country on Friday ahead of the commencement of operations.


In an interview with Channels TV on Wednesday, Sirika said the aircraft will be unveiled in Nigeria’s colours (green and white), in fulfilment of all the promises made by the administration in the aviation sector.


He said the actualisation of the vision was due to the unwavering resolve of the current administration.


“On Friday, in two days, the Nigeria Air airplane will land in Nigeria, as part of the processes to commence operations,” he said.


 “We would, on that day, unveil the aircraft with delivery and everything in Nigeria colours, belonging to Nigeria Air and we will proceed to do the retrofit and bring back those airplanes.


“So, we have achieved a lot of what’s in the roadmap. The only item that is missing on (sic) my table is the aerotropolis. Even that, the groundwork has been done. All the airports (the four of them) are free zones. They are free zones to allow you to come in there and take advantage of what a free zone is.


“And that of course will enhance and boost the aerotropolis, which is the airport city. Abuja is sitting on 12,000 hectares of land, courtesy of Mr. President and that is why you would see this huge aerotropolis.”


News of the arrival of the aircraft comes amid disagreements by stakeholders over the ownership stake of the proposed national carrier.


Last year, a federal high court in Lagos prohibited the federal government from selling the shares of Nigeria Air to Ethiopian Airlines — a judgment that ultimately halted the commencement of operations.


But the minister, in recent months, had consistently insisted that the national carrier would fly before the end of the current administration.


Sirika, in March, April, and earlier this month, announced that Nigeria Air will commence operations before May 29 and “nothing would stop it.”

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