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2024 Budget: Nigeria Air missing, as FG budgets over N30bn for aerodromes, others
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2024 Budget: Nigeria Air missing, as FG budgets over N30bn for aerodromes, others

In an unexpected twist, the much-anticipated revival of Nigeria Air appears to be conspicuously absent from the recently approved 2024 budget by the Federal Government. Amidst the omission the Federal

  • PublishedDecember 11, 2023

In an unexpected twist, the much-anticipated revival of Nigeria Air appears to be conspicuously absent from the recently approved 2024 budget by the Federal Government.

Amidst the omission the Federal Government allocated over N30 billion for the development and upgrade of aerodromes, air navigational equipment across the country, among other vital projects.

A total of N63.31 billion was earmarked for the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development in the federal government’s executive proposal in the 2023 Appropriation bill.

A breakdown of the bill showed that the ministry got N39.80 billion, Nigerian Meteorological gets N13 billion, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, receives N5.5 billion and the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, NSIB, received N4.8 billion.

Other details of the allocation reveals that the Ministry will spend over N21 billion on just the rehabilitation and repairs of airport/aerodromes, while N2.1 billion is for the rehabilitation of air navigational equipment.

The Ministry and its agencies will be spending over N1.39 billion on refreshment and meals, welfare packages, sporting activities, among other listed items

As an ongoing project the Ministry plans to spend N2 billion in the development of Aerospace University in Abuja, and N1 billion on the expansion of wing D and E fingers of Murtala Mohammed Airport, MMA, in Lagos.

Also, N500 million has been earmarked for ongoing projects on safety and security critical projects and airport certification nationwide, while N10 million has been budgeted for purchase of fire trucks for airports.

A total of N60 million has also be set aside for ongoing Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement, BASA, and Multilateral Air Service Agreement, MASA, for Namibia, France, Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, United Kingdom , UK, Russia, Senegal Israel, Pakistan, Iran, South Africa, Eritrea, Namibia, Venezuela, among others

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Meanwhile, according to reports Nigeria Air was a project aimed at reestablishing a national airline to compete on the global stage.

A development which has been a topic of debate and speculation since it was first announced in 2018.

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Minister, Festus Keyamo and the National Assembly’s resolve to investigate the process leading to the unveiling of Nigeria Air by the previous administration.

Keyamo said that he will not overlook any potential red flags associated with it.

In his words: “Well, the next step will be for the federal government as a body, not just me as minister, to look at all the reports which I’m putting before them to make a final decision?

“So, no final decision has been taken on all of these but I won’t be here because it will be very irresponsible of me as a minister to come in and agencies of governments are raising red flags here and there, and I will keep quiet.

“I’m not talking about even Nigerians complaining, agencies of government are raising red flags about both projects. And I, as a functionary of Government as a minister, will then wave all of those red flags away. You know, people were already putting machineries in motion to commit themselves so it is to save them and save us.

“Don’t commit! hold on. Don’t commit anything so that your commitments will not go into these adventures. Wait, let us look at it all. Like I said before, be responsive to the feelings of Nigerians, to the red flags that have been raised by certain agencies of government, and then we make a final decision.”

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