The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigerian pilots would constitute the backbone of the operations of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, ruling out government’s interference in the recruitment and operations of the airline.
Nigeria Air is expected to commence commercial operations in December
The minister stated this at a lecture at the Air Force Institute of Technology’s 47th convocation in Kaduna on Thursday.
Speaking on “Civil-Military Partnership towards a Thriving Aviation Industry in Nigeria”, Sirika noted that Nigerian pilots would however constitute the backbone of the operations of the company.
The disclosed that the airline was unveiled in London for visibility but that investors in the company would decide the running of the airline.
He said, “There will be no management control whatsoever. But I want to warn you that the people who are going to do recruitment ab initio will be a company that is world-class.”
The minister stressed that Nigeria Air would be different from the grounded Nigeria airways.
He said, “The ownership is different. It is different because it is private sector-driven.
“Government will own minority share of less than five per cent.
“Nigeria Airways died due to so many reasons, including governance issues and also that of finance.
“Nigeria Airways was owned by the government of Nigeria and over time it lost track and lost funding and someone, therefore, decided to shut it down and it died.”