Nigeria is set to build a national airline and generally revamp its aviation sector. Nigeria’s aviation sector which has often been neglected maintenance-wise is often construed as an obstacle to the economic growth of Nigeria.
The junior aviation minister of Nigeria, Hadi Sirika stated that the aviation upgrade will enable a creation hub for west Africa in general.
The minister added that Lufthansa airlines, as well as some five other firms will assist the government on setting up the airline. The development will also include a leasing company, a maintenance hanger and more aviation logistics, according to Reuters.
Vice President Osinbajo reportedly approved 1.52 billion naira for funding the project on Wednesday.
The new airline was one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign promises when he was running for election. He set up a committe in charge of fulfilling this promise in 2015. However, the ailing president was absent at the meeting which was chaired by the Vice President, causing Nigerians to speculate on the gravity of his illness.
Lack of maintenance of basic infrstructure is a thorn in the side of Nigeria’s economy. Getting these infrastructures in Nigeria is a hurdle on its own, in addition to post-set up maintenance. It is not uncommon to see a building set up by the government failing after two years due to failure to look after it.
“It can be identified that the Nigerian government is not only a bad manager in the aviation sector but also in most other sectors, including the oil and gas, as is evident in the fluctuations and backwardness of the Nigerian petroleum sector,” the Aviation Tribune said on the demise of Nigeria’s premier airline, Nigerian Airways.
“Corruption is a very major drawback in the system. Due to corruption and poor management, the aircraft were haphazardly used for carrying government officials and personnel without paying. The officials even went as far as using the aircraft for personal and irrelevant purposes.
Minister Seriki added that this airline despte being a national airline will be private-led with the Nigerian government allowed to own about 3% of shares in the company.