The Federal Government will soon appoint a transition adviser that will help develop the process for the establishment of a national carrier.
Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika on Monday, gave this insight while briefing aviation stakeholders in Abuja.
The minister said that the new national carrier would be private sector driven, while the Federal Government on its part, would establish a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in the country, using the national carrier as base.
Sirika said the overhaul facility would further be encouraged to start the manufacturing of airplane spare parts with the intent to go into manufacturing in the nearest future.
The minister believes Nigeria has the capacity to become a hub in the African region, pointing out that if countries like Ethiopia and Brazil could manufacture airplane parts, Nigeria could also go into same venture succesfully.
He added that the Federal Government would also establish an aviation leasing company to bring solution to the problem of access to capital and high cost of funds, apart from the need to address the high debt profile of some airlines, inadequate number of aircraft and high interest rate.
“Aviation being international, a lot of transactions are done in foreign currency, including aircraft acquisition, purchasing of spare parts, maintenance and training, which are all done in foreign currency.
“Mr President has also ordered that the waiver in importation of airplane spare parts be continued,’’ he said.
“It is the time to take advantage of the market opportunity in Nigeria, which is about 600 million people, comprising East and West Africa, which is twice the size of America,” the minister said.