FG Approves N47 Billion for Nigeria Air —Sirika
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said the Federal Government has approved N47.43 billion for the Nigeria Air project in the 2019 budget.
Sirika disclosed this while explaining that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, was misquoted in reports which stated that he (Amaechi) said the Federal Executive Council was divided over the mode of implementation of the national carrier project.
He noted in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, James Odaudu, that “President Muhammadu Buhari directed that the viability gap funding for the project be provided for in the 2019 Appropriation which the National Assembly had graciously done.”
In November last year, Sirika told stakeholders at an aviation forum that a viability gap funding of $155 million (N47.43 billion at the official exchange rate of N306 to a dollar) was required for the Nigeria Air project.
The minister had explained that the VGF was in line with the outline business case that would enable the airline to start operations before the introduction of private equity funds.
A viability gap fund is a grant that is made available to finance the ongoing operations or future development of a project that is not currently provided by cash, equity or debt. Projects that mostly enjoy such kind of funds are the ones with longer gestation periods.
Sirika insisted that FEC was not divided over the mode of implementation of the national carrier project.