With a 49 percent stake in Nigeria Air, the Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder for the Nigerian carrier.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Friday.
According to Sirika, ET received an 89 percent out of 100 in the technical bidding process and a 15 out of 20 in financial bids.
He stated that the PPP Act’s request for proposal (RFP), which is governed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has been completed.
“After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors.
“The Nigerian investors are MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46%), FGN owning 5% and ET 49%. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process.
“The contract will be negotiated between consortium and FGN, leading to a full business case (FBC) which will be expected to be approved by the federal executive council (FEC).
“We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks.”
According to the minister, the national carrier will begin operations with three Boeing 737-800 aircraft specially configured for the Nigerian market.
Nigeria Air, he says, will start with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos in order to establish a new comfortable, dependable, and affordable mode of transportation between the two major airports.
Other domestic destinations, according to the minister, would be added later.
“The first aircraft is ready to arrive in Abuja for further work and NCAA inspection, demo flights and audit as part of the AOC requirements.
“In time, two others will arrive to complete the required three aircraft for a new AOC holder.
“The interim executive team has prepared with the support of FAAN.
“The team has arranged for Terminal C at the Abuja Airport and finalised a contract with MMA 2 terminal in Lagos for the operation of an initial shuttle between Lagos and Abuja,” he said.
He stated that the Operations Control Centre (OCC) at Abuja Airport would serve as the airline’s headquarters.