Nigeria will soon have a privately-owned national air carrier, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Monday.

Mr. Sirika stated this while addressing journalists in Addis Ababa on the sidelines of the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, AU. 

Mr. Sirika said the government would provide an “enabling environment and support”, and would take advantage of the Single Air Transport Market launched by the African Union on Monday.

He said apart from Nigerian entrepreneurs, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Chinese Exim Bank as well as countries like Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Rwanda, Namibia, and Niger Republic would participate in the initiative.

“We are very close to having a national carrier at the moment. We are at the stage of transaction services. We have affiliations which will be dealt with. I hope within this week, you will hear from me on where we are. It will be soon,” he said.

Mr. Sirika said he had been holding discussions with several bodies regarding the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria.

He said once everything is concluded, “the prices of tickets and the efficiency of service will be much better”.

Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika

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