Ministry denies plan to make Aero national carrier

Embattled Aviation Minister, Mrs. Stella Oduah has denied reports of ongoing plans to confer national carrier status on Aero, Nigeria’s second largest domestic airline.
The minister, who spoke through her Special Assistant on Media, Joe Obi, however said the Federal Government is going ahead with the proposed ‘Nigeria one’ national carrier.
Oduah had in the past repeatedly explained that the new national carrier will be managed by private investors, with the Federal Government creating an enabling environment for the carrier to operate.
A section of the media had Monday reported plans to turn Aero to the national carrier by virtue of the government’s 60 per cent shareholding through the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). AMCON acquired Aero’s $200 million (about N32 billion) debt translating to 60 per cent equity off the books of Nigerian banks, leading the previous sole owners- the Ibru family with the remaining 40 per cent.
When contacted on Monday over the reported national carrier move, Managing Director of AMCON, Mustafa Chike-Obi, while not denying or confirming the development to our correspondent, said it is not the responsibility of AMCON to decide for Nigeria which airline will be a national carrier.
According to him, “AMCON does not decide who will be the national carrier”
Aero, Nigeria’s oldest surviving airline, founded in 1959 and registered in Nigeria a year later, has 16 aircrafts in its fleet and flies 14 destinations across Nigeria and the West African region.

Daily Independent
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