The Nigerian government is to assist domestic airlines to acquire airplanes, as part of efforts to salvage the ailing aviation sector, a top Nigerian aviation official said.
Managing Director of the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), George Uriesi, was quoted in the local media Tuesday as saying in a statement that the government plans to engage the services of reputable aircraft manufacturers around the world to achieve the goal.
Uresi was said to have made the announcement in Brazil, when he visited a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, Embraer Brazil.
“In this regard, government is seeking a partnership with Embraer that will lead to a discussion on how these new aircraft will be procured at very competitive, fair, and concessionary rates,” Mr. Uriesi said.
The decision to assist the airlines comes after the government’s earlier plan to help lift the industry faltered.
An intervention fund put in place by government, so the domestic airline operators can access it to get funds for their operations, was believed to have failed as the funds were not properly utilised.
“Intervention fund by the federal government in the past to assist them re-fleet has failed because there was no evidence of the money being ploughed back into the airlines leading to them failing in the long run,” Uresi said.
Nigeria’s domestic airline operators are struggling to survive due to rising operational costs, and their fleet has also been largely depleted.