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FG to Launch National Airline by December

Valentine Chinyem

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The Federal Government is considering launching a new national carrier before the end of the year, Daily Sun is reporting.

It was disclosed after a National Carrier Brainstorming Meeting in Abuja; the meeting was chaired by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

During the meeting, parties involved were urged to take the project very serious and put all hands on deck, in order to meet up with the December 24, 2018 deadline, a date which has been fixed for the inaugural flight of the airline.
A source who gave an hint on what transpired at the moment, said a committee was formed to ensure the plans come to fruition on the proposed date.
“At the end of the meeting, the Aviation Minister inaugurated a nine-man committee, (Fast Track Task Force), to ensure the sanctity of the take-off date of December 28 and other agreements reached with the transaction advisers,” the source said.

The Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, was appointed as Chairman of the committee to realise the target deadline.

Other members include Capt. Muhtar Usman, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Capt. Abdulsalami Mohammed, Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology; Mr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner for Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB); Capt. Tilmann Gabriel (a representative of National Carrier Transaction Adviser); Layi Are (a representative of Transaction Adviser for MRO and Aviation Leasing Company); Mr. Chidi Izuwah, the Acting Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC); while Mr. Ben Tukur, Technical Assistant to the Minister of State for Aviation, will serve as the Secretary of the committee.

“The Minister, after the inauguration of the committee gave a charge that they should do everything legally and procedurally possible to successfully realise the project by December 24, 2018,” said the source who wouldn’t want to be named.