The Minister of Aviation, Mr Osita Chidoka on Friday said a private sector-driven national carrier would be the best way forward for Nigeria.
Chidoka stated this when he spoke with newsmen during the official inauguration of the Pilot and International Protocol Lounge at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He said that he would share the idea with the major players in the industry, adding that the country needed flag carriers because of its strong domestic market.
“One of the things we are proposing is that Nigeria does indeed need flag carriers so to say because we are a country that has strong domestic market and have local airlines operating.
“We believe that national carrier that is private sector- driven will be the way to go for Nigeria and we are looking forward to that,’’ he said.
Chidoka said that the Federal Government was determined to end discrimination against Nigerian pilots by making sure that every airline operating in the country had at least a Nigerian pilot.
He said that the measure, which would take effect from June 1, would encourage Nigerian pilots and give them flight experience.
The minister said that the ministry had been working with the Ministry of Interior to ensure that before any airline could bring in foreign pilot, it must have employed a Nigerian pilot.
“Before any quota permission is given for a foreign pilot, the Ministry of Aviation must be contacted by the Ministry of Interior to give a no-objection.
“This is to be sure that such airline has fulfilled the obligation of employing a Nigerian pilot and also has a training plan to keep training Nigerian pilots.
“With that in place, we will then agree for them to bring in foreign pilots,’’ he said.
Chidoka said that all the projects initiated under the current administration were on course, adding that those yet to be completed would be completed by the incoming administration.
He said that the projects in the aviation sector were projects that would enhance the future of the industry, adding that anybody that had the interest of Nigeria would complete them.
“The completion time is still about 18 months away and I believe that the incoming government would put everything in process to complete them,’’ he said. (NAN)
Source : Leadership