Nigeria’s aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, has announced plans to commence the operation of the nation’s new national air carrier in the first quarter of 2022, having had to stall the plan last year due to Covid-19.

Mr Sirika disclosed this as he addressed journalists after the Federal Executive Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja. He noted that the advent of the pandemic delayed the conclusion of plans during the previous year as well as the takeoff of the project which he assured the federal government is still committed to. He mentioned that the aviation ministry will submit a proposal of the outline business case for the Carrier to the council in two weeks, hoping to get approval.

“In this 2021, we will try to do all the needful and probably we intend to start operations somewhere around first quarter 2022,” he said.

Mr Sirika pointed out to fill the economic gap necessity as the reason for the initial plans for the national carrier to take off this year, with the size of the population, the vantage geographical location, and other natural factors all in consideration.

He added that plans are still in top gear, and the Ministry’s approach to the Council to approve the outline business case for the carrier is in the process as the Council raised some questions and asked for a redraft of the memo. Establishing the national carrier will take place fully once the business case is approved.