Ms. Stella Oduah, Minister of Aviation, over the weekend stated that the Federal Government will make over $10 billion from the proposed National Flag Carrier before 2026.
The minister revealed this in Abuja on the Ministerial Platform while disclosing her ministry’s scorecard in the last two years. “This strategy is expected to create over 200,000 direct and indirect jobs and to positively impact on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to $10 billion by 2026,” she said.
According to the minister, the National Carrier has become expedient, considering the massive upgrading and remodeling that is currently being undertaken by her ministry, adding that the National Carrier will have domestic, regional and intercontinental flights. ”It will further complement the existing airlines operating in Nigeria.”
“We expect the National Carrier to partner with Africa focused aircraft leasing businesses. It is expected this will result in Nigerian passenger numbers exceeding 25 million by 2018 and 30 million by 2032. The National Carrier, alongside the other existing Nigerian airlines will have access to newer, more affordable and suitable aircraft that can service the underutilised airports.”
she said in 2012, the top international airlines operating in Nigeria carried over one million passengers and generated more than $1.5 billion revenue. With the coming of a National Carrier, she was optimistic that there would be more travel, more trade, more jobs and more revenues for Nigeria.
She added that one of the major objectives for the establishment of National Carrier which will be privately and professionally managed, is to meet the country’s reciprocal obligations under Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) and increase revenue and commercial opportunities to Nigerians.
She expressed delight at the development of new terminals in the following locations of Akanu Ibiam International terminal, Enugu, Murtala Mohammed International terminal, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe international terminal, Abuja, Port Harcourt terminal and Aminu Kano International terminal. The additional capacity through the expansion works, according to her, would handle over 18 million passengers with Lagos to cater for more than 45 per cent of the total passengers.
“Passenger traffic grew rapidly without commensurate increase in capacity of terminal buildings and other infrastructure for facilitation.
“In the last 12 years, passenger traffic at the airports increased from about 4 million to about 15 million per annum at the end of 2012, while the capacity of the terminals remain constant. By 2032 our expansion programme is expected to conveniently process 30 million passengers per annum,” she added.
Similarly, a ministry official told reporters that the carrier will roll out its operation before the end of the third quarter of this year.