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2021 Budget: Again, Buhari budgets N1 billion for failed national carrier

The so-called national carrier, which flopped barely two months after its unveiling in July 2018, was controversially apportioned N8.5 billion in the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

• November 9, 2020
Nigeria Air
Nigeria Air used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: Nairametrics]

The Muhammadu Buhari administration has yet again allotted another tranche of budgetary allocation to flunked national carrier Nigeria Air.

Details of the aviation ministry’s 2021 fiscal plan seen by Peoples Gazette show budgetary provision of N1 billion under the line item: “Working capital for establishment of national carrier.”

The Gazette understands that the so-called national carrier, which flopped barely two months after its unveiling in July 2018, was controversially apportioned N8.5 billion in the 2019 Appropriation Bill.

Similarly, the administration proposed N4.6 billion as “working capital” for Nigeria Air in the 2020 budget estimates, although it was unclear how much of it was released.

If approved by the National Assembly, the latest allocation — listed under “ongoing projects” of the aviation ministry — will take the total budget allotments for the suspended airline to N14.1 billion. It was unclear how much was released for previous budget proposals, but the government’s fiscal performance has been consistently below average in recent years.

The administration said Nigeria Airways could operate long-haul flights to at least 81 potential destinations if revamped, but has yet to provide a clear roadmap to achieve its return to the air.

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