The Federal Government of Nigeria has announced the suspension of the national carrier project.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who announced the suspension today, Wednesday, said that the decision was taken by the Federal Executive Council.
He said however that all commitments due will be honoured.
In a tweet via Sirika’s handle, the minister wrote: “I regret to announce that the Federal Executive Council has taken the tough decision to suspend the National Carrier Project in the interim. All commitments due will be honoured. We thank the public for the support as always.”
Though Sirika did not give reason for the suspension, it was gathered however that the nation’s Economic Management Team (EMT) disapproved of it, recommending that the Nigerian government should not set up a national carrier with public funds.
The EMT, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, wanted the ministry of transportation to accelerate the search for strategic investment partners who will finance and manage the new airline.
It said that in the absence of a borrowing plan for government participation, President Buhari ruled against spending money that is not in the budget.
Promoters of the idea of the new national carrier were said to have been asked to work towards 2019 budget if any government investment is to be involved.
Only about two months, Nigeria unveiled the proposed airline at the Farnborough Air Show in England on July 18.
Critics and industry experts raised concerns over the project when it was launched in July, with many suggesting that Nigeria cannot afford it at this time.