Mockery as three years after unveiling, Nigeria Air refused to fly
Sunday, July 18 2021, made it three years since the Federal Government unveiled the national carrier project at the Farnborough Air-show in London, United Kingdom.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika while unveiling the carrier on July 18, 2018 expressed enthusiasm that the country would finally have a national carrier by the end of the year.
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air. We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had stated.
However, despite the promise to launch the carrier which had a pre-start-up of $8.8 million and estimated start-up cost of about $300 million (since 2018), no national carrier has been inaugurated over three years down the line.
In May 2021, the Minister of Air had attempted to cool criticism when he tweeted that discussions were still ongoing for the proposed airline.
“Was invited to break my fast at the USA (United States of America) Embassy.
“We took the opportunity to discuss investments and opportunities in the aviation sector, including national carrier. The partnership looks promising. USA is the only country we have open skies with. Thanks Ambassador Mary and the team,” he had said.
But the revelation has done nothing to ease the apprehension of Nigerians who had high hopes during the launch of the carrier.
The Nigerians who took to their social media pages to comment expressed outrage that the National carrier had failed despite costing the country a lot of money.
The commenters have been reposting tweets of Presidential media aides, Bashir Ahmad and Tolu Ogunlesi to register their displeasure.