Nigeria ready for national carrier – Hadi Sirika

The minister of state for aviation, Hadi Sirika, says Nigeria will soon get a national carrier to take full advantage of the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

The SAATM is a project of African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, which aspires to create a single unified air transport network in Africa.

Sirika made this statement on the sidelines of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

It was earlier reported that 23 African countries including Nigeria sealed a deal to operate a single air aviation market.

This will improve inter-connectivity of the countries, reduce fares and stimulate economic growth for the continent.

The minister said the national carrier will be private sector driven.

Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya were among the first countries to welcome the initiative, even though the idea had been in existence for over three decades.

The plaque was unveiled at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa by Paul Kagame, AU chairman, and Moussa Faki, chairperson of the AU Commission.

“I want to say a big thank you for the work the Commission has put into this, to be able to form a single air transport market which is very important for the development of our continent in line with our many projects that will take us to our wishes for the year 2063,” Kagame said.

“I am glad that we can achieve some of these now or tomorrow, especially this particular project. I am happy for associating myself with the progress that we have made so far.”

Faure Gnassingbe, president of Togo, will lead the continent in realising the full implementation of market.

Nigeria’s first national carrier was established in 1958 and stopped operations in 2003 with more than 30 aircrafts on its fleet in the 1980s.

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