Nigeria: Planned U.S.$250 Million Funding for National Carrier Unsettles Operators

A projection by the federal government to raise $250 million for the proposed national carrier is raising questions among operators in the aviation industry.

According to a document released last week by the aviation ministry, the federal government expects private investors to raise $250m for the proposed carrier as it insisted the project would be delivered before 2023.

In the document which gives an update on the national carrier project and other sub-projects in the roadmap, the Ministry of Aviation explained that the project development phase has been completed.

The government explained that the next phase would be the placement of Request for Qualification (RFQ) in local and international media.

“$250m approximately is to be raised to start up the airline by private investors,” the document stated.

But stakeholders doubt the feasibility of the project, saying investors might be unwilling to put their money in such a venture.

Rather, some of them called on the government to harvest the facilities of the airlines under its management to set up the national carrier.

The Managing Director, Flight and Logistics Solutions, Amos Akpan said it would be an uphill task for private investors to invest $250m in establishing a national airline.

He attributed the difficulty to several factors such as return on investment (ROI), business environment, among others.

He said, “Positioning to attract investment is more critical now. If the gestation of investment runs into the next government coming in 2023, will it affect the agreements established with this government?