FG may float a national carrier by December

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Benjamin Okewu, national president, Air
Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), on Wednesday
said that the Federal Government might float a national carrier by December. 
Okewu told the News
Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that a Federal Government committee was in
place to ensure that Nigeria “has its own national carrier that would serve as
a driver in the nation’s aviation industry.”

The ATSSSAN
president noted that the process of creating the national carrier would have
been completed long ago but for the June 3 Dana plane crash that slowed it down.

“There is a
committee on establishing a national carrier and incidentally, the joint trade
union forum is representing the unions there.

“I think that the
Dana crash slowed down the activities of the committee and I am aware that it
is now trying to hasten the process– to put finishing touches– to enable it
take off latest by December 2012.

“We want to start
having a national carrier by December; that is the target. So, if we can start
by January, it is still a good development,’’ he said.

He stressed the
need for the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for the
airlines to succeed.

According to Okewu,
giving out intervention funds by government is counterproductive because most
airline operators ended up misappropriating the funds, rather than injecting it
into the airline business.

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