Nigeria’s national airline, Air Nigeria, is slated to take flying in April 2022, according to Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation.
He made the revelation while briefing State House Correspondents on Wednesday following the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Sirika, the national carrier will be managed by a firm in which the Nigerian government will own 5%, Nigerian entrepreneurs will own 46%, and the other 50% will be allocated for yet-to-be-assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.
When fully functioning, the national airline will employ roughly 70,000 Nigerians, according to the ministry.
In the meantime, Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, has stated that the government can no longer sustain petroleum subsidy costs, which currently stand at around N250 billion monthly, because the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) is remitting almost zero to the federation.
While outlining why the subsidy must be phased out by 2022 and replaced with a monthly transportation allowance of N5000 for the poorest Nigerians, the minister stated that it was no longer viable.
Ahmed said: “So the Petroleum Industry Act, has a provision that all petroleum products must be deregulated. And in the 2020 budget, we made a provision to assume that at the maximum by the end of June, we must exit subsidy. So this last FAAC the subsidy cost to the Federation was N243 billion. So if we look at a cost of about 250 billion per month, and it has been increasing consistently. So we’re expecting something around N120 billion per month from NNPC. And now we’re getting to a point where NNPC is remitting near zero. And if we don’t stop we will get to a point where they will tell you pay me this for managing the fuel provision in the country.
“So if you take 250 billion times 12 months, that is about N3 trillion.”