Aviation Ministry adopts a partnership arrangement with an European carrier. | By Chidi Okoye

The Ministry of Aviation has concluded plans to launch a new national carrier in partnership with one of Europe?s carriers; subject to the approval of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Sources, who did not want their names published because the government is wary of revealing the details of the partnership yet, said the foreign carrier, which presently operates flights into Nigeria, is to provide technical support that would include maintenance, infrastructure, training of pilots, engineers and other technical personnel and route development.

The ownership structure will have zero government control in terms of management and equity holding but its controlling shares would be owned by Nigeria, who will become stakeholders through the sale of Initial Public Offer (IPO), while the partner airline would have management control and 49 per cent stake holding.

?What is clear now is that government will not play any role in its ownership and control; it will be owned by Nigerians through IPO, although the template of that is still being worked on,? confirmed Joe Obi, the Special Adviser (Media) to the Minister of Aviation.

The federal government had earlier considered adopting one of the domestic airlines as the country?s national carrier but shelved this plan following the various crises that have trailed some of the prominent local carriers.

It is expected that the foreign partnership would more effectively manage the national carrier, train Nigerian personnel and contribute to the development and expansion of the curriculum at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology, Zaria.

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