The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Wednesday confirmed that the process of issuing an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) for the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air, is ongoing.
The Director-General (DG) of the agency, Capt. Musa Nuhu, however, said it cannot ascertain when the license would be issued, fuelling uncertainty over the take-off of the national carrier, which the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had assured would commence operation this month.
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Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, the DG disclosed that the carrier is undergoing security clearance.
He said, “The only thing I can tell you is that the promoters of that airline have applied and their AOC is ongoing. I don’t have any assurance of when the licenses would be. You see, when you apply for AOC or any certification, some issues are not completely under the purview of the NCAA like seeking security clearance for the applicant and security agents do that.
“I don’t have control over security agencies to give such clearances. They have applied and it is ongoing, we are waiting for security clearance.”
The federal government had said the proposed carrier would be wholly private-sector driven while it would only hold five per cent stake.
While 46 per cent goes to Nigerian entrepreneurs, the remaining 49 per cent would be reserved for strategic equity partners including foreign investors, according to the minister.