Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has revealed that part of the federal government’s roadmap for the aviation sector in 2021 is to prioritise a national carrier.

The minister, who made this disclosure yesterday in Abuja while unveiling the sector’s roadmap to the Senate Committee on Aviation during the 2021 budget defence session, said it would be implemented through Public-Private-Partnership, PPP.

Other projects to be executed, according to the roadmap, are the establishment of Maintenance Repair and Overhaul, MRC, facility, development of agro-allied cargo infrastructure, establishment of aviation leasing company, search and rescue unit and establishment of an aerospace university with the support of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO.

“In 2021, N78.960 billion is being proposed for capital expenditure at the headquarters of the aviation ministry and the emphasis will focus on the implementation of the aviation roadmap by Mr. President.

“This government right from inception in 2015 has been planning and strategising on how to resuscitate a national carrier for Nigeria as far as global air transportation is concerned; the plan going by what is on the ground now will be actualised next year through the PPP arrangement.

“The roadmap would be implemented through PPP, topmost of which will be the establishment of a national carrier,” he said.

Sirika stressed that all the required agreements and arrangements with other partners for the national carrier have been worked out, adding that all is now set for actualization in 2021.

He added that 10 new airports would be established across the country including Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Yobe and others.

Chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi in his remark requested the minister to ensure the upgrade of the Ajaokuta Airstrip and establishment of Lokoja Airport.

The committee also frowned at the state of disrepair of Ilorin, Minna and Makurdi airports.