The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) says Air Nigeria, the proposed state-owned carrier, will begin to convey Nigerians before the end of President Muhammad Buhari’s administration.
Acting Director-General (I-G) of the commission, Mr Michael Ohiani told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, that the ICRC was now working round the clock to get it operational.
Ohiani said ICRC was working closely with the Ministry of Aviation, adding that a new presidential approval had just been given that would advance the process.
The ICRC boss who did not give details of the approvals, assured that the process would be moving to the next stage by the end of February.
“I want to assure the Nigerian public that we are working round the clock to get it operational. We are working with the Ministry of Aviation and we have just gotten a presidential approval.
“We will get the concessionaire, once we have gotten the concessionaire which is a major step, the issue of operation will now follow. I can assure you that before the end of this administration, Air Nigeria will start flying,” he said.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) in November 2021, gave an approval for the commencement of processes to inaugurate the nation’s air carrier, Air Nigeria.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who at that time briefed newsmen, announced April 2022 as the effective date for its take-off.
Sirika had also said that 49 per cent of the Nigeria Air project would be owned by strategic equity partners, 46 per cent by Nigerians, while the Federal Government wound own five per cent of the shares.
In a related development, the ICRC acting DG said that plans were ongoing for the establishment of six cargo agro airports in the six geo political zones.
Ohiani said that the cargo airports were part of the commitment of the present administration to boost agriculture, adding that the airport would boost transportation of produce within and outside Nigeria.