JUST IN: FG Suspends National Carrier Project

Mixed reactions greet suspension of national carrier by Federal Government

The reaons for the suspension was not clear as at the time of writing this report.

The chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines said in August the airline was a frontrunner to set up and manage the carrier.

Sirika made the announcement in a tweet.

The Federal Government has announced the suspension of the national carrier project.

"All commitments due will be honoured", he said. "We thank the public for the support as always", he wrote on Twitter.

Sirika gave no explanation for the development, which has in the last few hours generated heated debate among stakeholders and Nigerians.

He said: "Today the government at the FEC took decision to suspend the national carrier project till further notice".

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Sirika unveiled the proposed carrier's branding and livery at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London, United Kingdom.

"Nigeria has unfortunately not been a serious player in Aviation for a long time".

Among the critics was former education minister, Oby Ezekwesili, who argued that the process was not completely transparent.

The Federal Government, through its Ministry of Transportation, the Aviation arm, had announced in July that Nigeria Air would commence operation before the end of this year.

But President Muhammadu Buhari was adamant about launching a new airline for the country, a project he promised during campaign in 2015.

The project was expected to gulp billions of naira.

Speaking on the defunct Nigeria Airways, Sirika said "Nigeria Airways died due to so many reasons, including governance issues and also that of finance".

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