The Nigerian government on Wednesday declared immediate suspension of its widely announced national carrier.
The suspension was made because the Economic Management Team (EMT) did not approve it when it launched, sources familiar with the matter told PREMIUM TIMES.
Sources at the presidential villa told this newspaper Wednesday night that the EMT advice was that the Nigerian government should not set up a national carrier with public funds.
The EMT is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s aviation minister, announced the cancellation on Wednesday shortly after the cabinet meeting. The minister later posted the announcement on his Twitter page.
Mr Sirika said: “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.”
Mr Sirika gave no explanation for the development, which has in the last few hours generated heated debate among Nigerians.
The cancellation announcement comes barely two months after Nigeria unveiled the proposed airline at the Farnborough Air Show in England on July 18.
Critics and enterprise professionals raised worries over the undertaking when it become launched in July, with many suggesting that Nigeria can’t find the money for it right now.
Among the critics changed into former minister, Oby Ezekwesili, who argued that the system become no longer completely obvious.
But the Nigerian authorities dismissed all worries raised, announcing the airline would begin operation before 2018 runs out. During electioneering in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to establish a national airline.
In July, shortly after receiving the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline from Chidi Izuwah, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr Sirika, a former pilot, boasted that the airline would be viable. He additionally stated Nigeria will receive the primary set of five airplanes for the airliner on December 19, with projections that the airline will make profit in 3 years after operations.
The proposed airline was predicted to gulp $8.8 million preliminary value and $three hundred million as take-off value.
Nigeria’s defunct carrier, Nigeria Airways, have become moribund because of corruption and terrible management. More than a decade after the national profession stopped operations, but, the numerous controversies surrounding its finishing up have not been resolved.