The proposed new national carrier, Nigeria Air, is to take off in April, next year.

Minister of Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents that the proposal to that effect had been approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

According to the Minister, the federal government will acquire only 5 per cent equity in the airline, while interested Nigerians to own 46perr cent and other strategic partners, including foreign airlines, will be identified to take up the remaining 49 per cent equity.

Alhaji Hadi Sirika said FEC had also approved the award of over one billion Naira contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including software support and training, popularly known as the truth machine, to be situated in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Similarly, on the economic situation in the country, Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmad noted that the impact of the present economic growth would not be felt now until it had surpassed population growth rate.

She said the Third Quarter GDP report for 2021, released last week by the National Bureau of Statistics, affirmed that there had been an improvement from the contraction witnessed in 2020.

According to her, Agriculture also grew by 1.22 per cent, which is a slight dip, compared to the 1.3 per cent in the Second Quarter of 2021, this attributed to the decline in agricultural activities in some parts of the country, due to insecurity.

Hajiya Zainab Ahmad, also said the Third Quarter report indicates that the oil sector’s contribution to the GDP stands at 7.49 per cent, while the non-oil sector’s contribution stands at 2.51 per cent.

She explained that the proposed Federal Government’s gesture to pay N5000 monthly to poor Nigerians as a transportation grant would last for 12 months.

FEC also gave approval to the Ministry of Transportation to award an over 6 billion Naira contract for the provision of training, logistics, operational equipment, and maintenance, under the Integrated National Surveillance and Waterways Protection Solution Infrastructure, known as the Deep Blue Project, for a two-year period.

Cov/ Bello Wakili, Abuja