Ethiopian Airline has 49% stake –FG


From Adetutu Folasade-Koyi, AbujaThree investors have been lined up for the $350 million proposed Nigerian Air, with Ethiopian Airline having 49 percent stake.Nigeria has just five percent while 41 percent of the $350 million investment would be supplied by private, Nigerian investors.Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed this at the third edition of the PMB Administration 2015-2023 scorecard, which held in Abuja, yesterday.This was just as the Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, allayed fears of a fresh Twitter and social media ban in the country, against the backdrop of Elon Musk Twitter ownership.Last month, the minister reiterated government’s determination to start the national carrier in December 2022, with 20 aircraft.In his presentation, yesterday, Sirika said the alliance with  Ethiopian Airline was in line with the government’s principle of transparency and growing the African market.Asked whether it was the right decision to cede 49 percent of the country’s national airline to a competitor, he replied: “Whether it is the right decision, correct, fair, that we are ceding Nigerians Air to Ethiopian Airlines, it’s an unfair comment that we keep seeing coming up.“Nigeria is one. I’m not making a case for Ethiopian Airlines. It is an African airline; starting point. It has existed for 70 years. They fought wars but the airline was saved. It is the only airline that made profit, even during COVID-19. The airline has, today, in this very harsh environment, declared profit, this year, $1 billion…“The airline is a member of Star Alliance. Because they are Africans does not mean they are not good. That is one…“Our thinkers have said we must come together to take charge of our own market. Ninety percent of the airlines doing business in Africa are not Africans. Why? The future and fortunes of Africa must be for Africans…So, we must open up Africa. Which country started this? It was Nigeria.

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