The Federal Government of Nigeria is already contemplating listing of Nigerian Air on the Nigerian Exchange Limited, even as the airline is yet to commence operation.
On Thursday, the Federal Government announced that beginning from next week it would start sending out Request for Proposals to investors interested in owning shares in the proposed national carrier.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika expressed hope that the carrier, Nigeria Air, would be quoted on the Stock Exchange, providing the opportunity for Nigerians to buy shares in the airlines.
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The proposed share distribution as reported by Punch is;
- 49% stake for strategic equity partners (assumed to be foreign investors)
- 46% stake exclusively for Nigerians
- 5% for Government
Hadi Sirka said that discussions with prospective investors had been ongoing;
“We will release what is called Request for Proposals very soon, I believe next week. And this Request for Proposals will describe what and what we are asking for.
“You will now go and send us a document that you are proposing to partner us and this is what you are giving us. Then we will sit down, evaluate, discuss and choose a strategic partner or partners for this airline.
“So Request for Proposals are going out next week and by the grace of God we will continue to pursue that and people will show up.”
The airline is scheduled to start operations with three wet-leased aircraft in the the first quarter of 2022. The minister said that the reason for starting off with a leased aircraft is because it will take about three to five years to take delivery of an aircraft that was ordered for.
The Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is yet to be applied for. The Minister says that this will be applied for in the next couple of days from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), which is the regulatory authority.
The plan to replace the defunct Nigeria Airways that ceased operations in 2003 has been a long and unending one. The journey had started in 2012, 3 years before this present administration and the tenure of the current Minister of Aviation.
Sirika, shortly after coming to office late 2015, launched an aviation development roadmap. Of priority are a new national carrier, airport concession, aircraft leasing company and a MRO.
After the debacle of christening the national carrier in London, with logo designed for ludicrous sum by a foreign company, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has warmed up to the proposed airline.
The 2020 budget had N4.6 billion for its working capital, while the 2021 appropriation added another N1 billion to working capital. The 2022 budget recently proposed to the National Assembly also voted N400 million for the airline, with additional N150 million as consultancy fee.
While the airline did not exist prior to or during the pandemic, it was given priority in the N27 billion aviation bailout fund to cushion the devastating effect of the pandemic on businesses.
The Nigerian Government is at it again, first they muted floated NNPC shares, and now its Nigerian Air.
At Investogist, just as we concluded on the case of NNPC, we will wait to see what the Nigerian Air has to offer when they come to Investors.
Would you invest your money in Nigerian Air?
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur