By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika says the national carrier, Nigeria Air, will commence operations before the present administrations winds down.
Sirika made this clarification while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Regarding Nigeria Air, yes, we are on course; and by the Grace of God, before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office, it will fly.
“We are on course; before May 29, Nigeria Air will fly,” he said.
The minister said that something crucial had happened in the aviation industry with FEC’s approval of the Aviation Leasing Company.
He said the council also approved the sum of N3.5 billion for contract for photometric and taxiway light for Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt airports.
“Something very significant has happened in the world of civil aviation; part of our road map, the Aviation Leasing Company has been established and approved by council.
“Therefore, operators in civil aviation will have access to this equipment at affordable rate and within our country, Nigeria; this is part of the roadmap.
“So, the roadmap is gradually coming to 100 per cent completion.
“Second memo was award of contract for the procurement and installation of taxiway light and photometric pattern for Port Harcourt, Lagos, Abuja and some other equipment all over the country.
“The total sum of the contract for photometric and taxiway light is N3.5 billion with 7.5 per cent VAT and 12 months completion period,’’ he said.
On his part, Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said that the council had approved the establishment of 37 new private universities across the country.
He said that by the foregoing, the present administration had surpassed any other administration in terms of establishing universities.
“37 new private universities have been licenced and that will make this admiration probably the most university –friendly administration because we have so far established 72 universities.
“14 by the Federal Government, 21 by states and 37 private; so, total we have 72 new universities from 2015 to date.
“ And today I am announcing 37 new private universities,’’ he said.