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Why Government selects ‘Ethiopian’ as preferred bidder for Nigeria Air: Minister

Sen. Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation

*Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, explains a careful, detailed and ICRC-governed selection process has resulted in Ethiopian Airlines Consortium the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of three Nigerian investors

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Government has selected the Ethiopian Airlines as the country’s preferred bidder for the national carrier.

Sen. Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, disclosed this development at a media briefing Friday, September 23, 2022, in Abuja, FCT.

The Minister said ‘the Ethiopian’ scored 89 percent out of 100 in respect of the technical bid, and 15 out 20 as regards financial bid.

Sirika also explained that the Request for Proposal (RFP) under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Act, governed by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) regarding the Nigeria Air had been completed.

He further explained: “After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as 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 Minister for Aviation noted that “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.”

The national carrier will be launched with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market, he said.

According to him, Nigeria Air will be launched with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between the two major Nigerian Airports.

Sirika also revealed that other domestic destinations would follow after the launch.

Sirika stated: “The first aircraft is ready to arrive in Abuja for the 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.”

He as well disclosed that “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.”

According to him, the Operations Control Centre (OCC) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, will be designated as Headquarters of the national carrier.

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