'National Carrier Can Save Nigeria U.S.$3 Billion Yearly' - DAILY TRUST
By Chris Agabi
An aviation sector player and the Chairman, West Link Airlines, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, has advised the Federal Government to pursue its proposed national carrier project to a logical conclusion in view of the project's socio-economic benefits to the country.
Specifically, the industry operator aligned his views with the Airline Operators of Nigeria's (AON) position that if established, the national carrier could save the country up to $3bn annually in capital flight to foreign airlines.
Capt. Mshelia told journalists at the weekend that apart from its revenue generation potential, the project was capable of creating thousands of jobs and also help in boosting the nation's foreign reserves.
He said, "Nigeria cannot continue to allow foreign airlines serve its major international travellers to and from the country alone any longer."
The industry operator said a government that planned to do well should not watch quietly for the length of time Nigeria had done; without coming to the sector's rescue.
The government has indicated readiness to float a national carrier and has been putting in place arrangements to realise the agenda. Already, the Outline Business Case (OBC) has been approved by the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the name Nigeria Air unveiled.