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Air Nigeria: Federal government reveals date airline will take off

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Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, has disclosed that Nigeria’s national airliner, Air Nigeria, is expected to take off by April 2022.

He made the disclosure while briefing State House Correspondents on Wednesday after the week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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According to Sirika, the national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a 5% stake, Nigerian entrepreneurs holding 46%, while the remaining 49% will be reserved for yet to be assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.

The minister noted that the national carrier, when operational, will create about 70,000 jobs for Nigerians.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said with Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) remitting almost zero to the federation, the government can no longer sustain petroleum subsidy cost which currently stands at about N250 billion monthly.

The minister while justifying why subsidy must be removed by 2022 and replace with N5000-a-month transportation grant to the poorest Nigerians, said it was no longer sustainable.

Ahmed said: “So the Petroleum Industry Act, has a provision that all petroleum products must be deregulated. And in the 2020 budget, we made a provision to assume that at the maximum by the end of June, we must exit subsidy. So this last FAAC the subsidy cost to the Federation was N243 billion. So if we look at a cost of about 250 billion per month, and it has been increasing consistently. So we’re expecting something around N120 billion per month from NNPC. And now we’re getting to a point where NNPC is remitting near zero. And if we don’t stop we will get to a point where they will tell you pay me this for managing the fuel provision in the country.

“So if you take 250 billion times 12 months, that is about N3 trillion.”

Details later…

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Updated: November 24, 2021 — 8:55 pm

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