By Omotilewa Quadri
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that Nigeria Airways died because of governance and finance issues.
Speaking on Thursday at the 47th convocation of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) in Kaduna, Sirika said the case of the newly unveiled Nigeria Air will be different.
“The ownership is different. It is different because it is private sector-driven,” he said.
“Government will own a 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,” he said.
The minister said the airline was unveiled in London for visibility adding that Nigerian pilots will form the backbone of the company’s operations.
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.”
Nigeria Airways was founded in 1958 with the federal government owning 51% of the airline. The carrier boosted of 30 aircraft.
The airline was managed by a number of foreign companies including Dutch KLM, British Airways and South African Airways before it stopped operations in 2003.
It was succeeded by Virgin Nigeria and the ground facilities were taken over by Arik Air.
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