The Federal Government has announced that production of airplanes in Nigeria will commence before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office.
Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika gave the hint when he paid an inspection visit to the Magnus Aircraft Industry in Pogany, Hungary.
“If we venture with them, we may start with assembling plant and later manufacturing”, James Odaudu, the ministry’s spokesman quoted him in a statement.
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Sirika said the Magnus aircraft is lightweight, good for military training, has an aerobatic manoeuvre and made of high-strength composite materials.
The plane, he added, uses normal car petrol and outperforms any training aircraft of its kind.
The minister expressed satisfaction with the features and readiness to facilitate the production in the country.
Sirika predicted this will boost the growth of Nigeria as a regional aviation super power as maintenance and repair facilities will attract patronage from neighbouring countries.
The partnership will be subjected to further analysis to verify the market and government willingness to release a significant amount of money and logistics.
Meanwhile, in more than six years in office, the Buhari administration has failed to actualize a national carrier.
Sirika, a self-acclaimed “Buharist”, has given time frame for the start of Nigeria Air at least thrice.
In March 2020, he promised that the proposed airline will fly local routes from the third quarter of 2021.
In May 2021, Sirika said the carrier may start operations in the first quarter of 2022. The minister put the blame on COVID-19.
August is ending and yet, there are no visible indices to confirm Nigerians will witness a state-owned air service early next year.