Last year, despite a budgetary allocation of ₦1.45 billion ($4.01 million), the Nigerian government revealed its decision to temporarily suspend the National Carrier Project. But it appears the project is back on track, barely a year after its suspension.
According to Daily Trust, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika confirmed that the transaction advisers have concluded a baseline study of Nigeria Air.
In what seems like a follow up on the baseline study, the minister will be meeting the transaction advisers soon to work on any grey areas that might exist.
Worthy of note is that ‘Establishment of National Carrier (Appointment of Transaction Adviser and others)’ had an appearance in three appropriation acts — 2016, 2017 and 2018 — and got a ₦1.16 billion ($3.21 million) cumulative budgetary allocation in those three years.
The project also had two line items in the 2019 appropriation act: both items — ‘Consultancy for the establishment of the national carrier’ and ‘Working Capital for National Carrier’ — cost the nation ₦193.88 million ($536k).
Between 2016 till date, the national carrier has gotten approximately ₦1.644 billion ($4.5 million) in budgetary allocation with only a company name and logo, as well as a reportedly concluded baseline study, to show for it.
Can Nigerians still look forward to having a National Carrier? It seems there’s hope for a response to this question as Hadi claimed that the national carrier is still on course and will be delivered as planned.