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09th November, 2018.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika

Airbus, Boeing, IDB, US, France, others show interest in Nigeria Air - Sirika

The governments of the United States of America and France are interested in Nigeria Air, the Federal Government announced on Thursday.

It also dismissed claims that the process for the establishment of the national carrier was suspended due to the lack of investors.

Speaking at the 5th Aviation Stakeholders Forum in Abuja, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, also explained that the planned national carrier was suspended because the first Transaction Adviser, Lufthansa, that was to spell out the ownership model in the privatisation and shareholding process, did not complete the process.

He said Lufthansa was replaced due to its outrageous demands which included opening an escrow account, refusal to pay tax and demand for 75 per cent upfront payment.

The minister outlined ready investors in the national carrier to include the African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the governments of the United States and France, among others.

Sirika said, "There was fake news that we suspended the process because there was no investor. That is not true. Already IDB, AfDB, AFREXIM, US-EXIM, Standard Chartered Bank, Boeing, Airbus, COMAC/CCECC, BOAD, China-Exim, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Deutche Infrastructure Finance, all of them, including the governments of France and US, have written us to say they are committed to this project, that they want to donate and partner.

He said the estimated funding requirement for the establishment of the project was $300m up to 2020, and an initial start-up capital of $55m made up of $25m for the deposit for new aircraft and $30m for working capital from June to December 2018.

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