The federal government has explained that Ethiopian airline was chosen ahead of others as successful bidder to manage its new national carrier – Nigeria air, in order to open air sky, open market and promote intra-African business.
Stakeholders had condemned the recently announced stake of Ethiopian Airlines in Nigeria’s national carrier, when the federal government said Ethiopian Airlines as the core investor and technical partner.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika who disclosed this to State House correspondents after the federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa said it was to open air sky, open market and promote intra-African business.
According to him, it was very premature for him to answer because they were in the process of putting together the full business case that will be approved by the Federal Executive Council ‘shortly before the airline will kick off.
He said there is an EU agenda 2063, which seeks to integrate Africa, and there is ACFTA, which is the continental free trade agreement within Africa, and there’s also single African Air Transport market.
According to him, about 92 per cent of the airlines doing business in Africa are non Africans and it is high time that perhaps African airlines begin to come together to form an open market and open air sky where African airline worth its name can tap into the advantage of this 1.4 billion people market and then of course, given the chance, we’ll always going to partner with the best.
He said “And by the way, Ethiopian airline if they are approved as preferred bidders in the full business case, they are members of Star Alliance, explaining that “there are three alliances in the world. The One World which is Qatar, British airways and so on; the Star Alliance which is Lufthansa, Turkish, Ethiopian and many others; and then of course the the Sky Team, which has KLM, Air France and so on.
“So whichever you pick, you’re going to be a member of a huge big international consortium and alliances. also, I think civilization has transformed, you do co-share, interlining and partnerships and so on and so forth.
“So really, it doesn’t matter and in terms of capacity, most of the international airlines that are there in the world, Ethiopian airlines can compete with them substantially.
“Some of them like Ethiopian airline are owned by government, they enjoy certain leverages, but they’re not doing badly. I wouldn’t want to preempt, and I don’t want this to dominate the airwaves. So please be patient to wait for the full business case which is coming, I think maximum about three to four weeks, and the airline will certainly be alive soon,” the minister said.
“We have recorded significant milestones and great accomplishments in our bid to drive Nigeria’s economy digitally and our modest successes are verifiable. The federal government, in the last three years launched several programmes, policies and initiatives that are entrenching the trust between the tech ecosystem and the government towards strengthening the Nigerian digital economy sector,” he averred.
The director general of NITDA Kashifu Inuwa also shared same sentiment with the minister as he noted that the Nigerian team will ace the competition and once again place the country on the global map, while urging urged the tech innovators to ensure they also learn, unlearn and relearn by participating in other sideline events and conferences in order to build the necessary networks to add value to their craft.
GITEX Global 2022 is a meeting point for technology professionals and enthusiasts. The event is a thrust for the Global Startup Movement attracting world’s biggest technology mentors, angel investors and venture capitalists.
Nigerian startups will be showcasing their innovative ideas to the world, interacting with other startups from different parts of Asia, Africa and Europe; luring investors to come to Nigeria and invest money in the country’s fast growing Digital economy.