Sirika: Nigeria Air will be delivered before 2023, says 10 new airports underway

Sirika: Nigeria Air will be delivered before 2023, says 10 new airports underway

Hadi Sirika, the minister for aviation, says plans are underway to ensure that Nigeria Air, the national carrier, is delivered before the end of the

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Hadi Sirika, the minister for aviation, says plans are underway to ensure that Nigeria Air, the national carrier, is delivered before the end of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“We are on it. The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case. It is being reviewed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),” he said.

“Soon after its completion, it will go to the federal executive council for approved. We will not leave this government without having it in place.”

Sirika had unveiled the national carrier project at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in London. However, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, said the project was suspended due to investor apathy.
Sirika added that arrangements are in top gear for ten new Airports in the country as part of moves to boost the aviation sector which has become the fastest growing sector of the economy, despite the setback suffered from the COVID -19 Pandemic.
This arrangement he involves the building of  10 new airports in Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Gombe, among other states. He also noted that Kebbi, Osubi, Dutse airports have been taken over by the Federal Government while the Gombe State government had also written the federal authorities, asking it to take over the Gombe Airport.
Sirika said, “There are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so forth. All of these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration. So, we have about 10 new airports coming up, that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria. So we are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports.”
The Aviation Minister said, “Lokoja is an important northern town. It is a cosmopolitan town, it’s a mini Nigeria and it is extremely very important in growth and development of our country. We have a lot of agricultural activities around there. There is fishery; there is perishable item production and so on. So siting an airport there is quite apt. For me, it is is something we should have done long ago for its importance,” Sirika said.

On the issues of dilapidated equipment at some airports across the country, Sirika who noted that it was work in progress as the airports are being attended to one after the other based on priorities, said, “We have being improving these airports one airport after another. We don’t have the resources to take them all at once. We are attending to them; we look at an airport and find which that safety item is and which is that item of security that needs attention first before we now turn to other matters. Certainly we are making Ilorin one of the best airports because in the first place it was an alternate for Lagos.”