Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Nigeria Air project was suspended by the Federal Government so as to allow for private-sector management of the proposed national carrier.
Osinbajo, who made this disclosure at an interactive session with some Christian leaders and youths in Lagos, said the Buhari administration was disposed to a flag carrier that would be run mainly by the private sector.
“We didn’t want another airline that would be run by the government. Several international companies and local investors have come together and are planning to run the airline and carry the Nigerian flag. Nigeria is one of the most lucrative places for airline business in Africa and the airports must also be run professionally.
“And that is why we are also trying to concession the airports. So if we concession the airports and have Nigeria Air, it will be much easier for the nation to be Africa’s hub in the aviation sector,” Osinbajo said.
He explained that the exchange rate is a bit high because the Naira is not a convertible currency and the nation rely a lot on the dollar.
“From 2010 to 2014, Nigeria earned the highest amount of money ever, $383 billion, and that was when we had our best exchange rate. One barrel of oil was sold above $100. By May 2015, the price of oil fell to $28. So, there was a sharp drop in foreign exchange.
“The first strategy we adopted was to import less.
If we focus on local production, our country will not only create jobs, but
also have all the foreign exchange issues reduced,” the vice president explained.