Following a recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Ministry of Aviation on Monday inaugurated a committee to work out modalities for the establishment of a national carrier for the country.

Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Binta Bello, while speaking at the inauguration of the committee in Abuja, charged members to pursue the assignment with all seriousness because of its national importance.

She explained that the inauguration of the committee became imperative in view of the interest shown by the president.

Bello, who underscored the importance of establishing a national carrier, stressed that it was not only justified by economic considerations, but also strategic national interest, national pride and job creation potential.

“The committee must expand it searchlight by reviewing the report on the failure of the defunct Nigeria Airways and other failed private airlines,” she said.

The committee, which has a former Managing Director of Discovery Airlines, Captain Muhammad Abdullahi, as Chairman, has the mandate of consulting widely with stakeholders on the establishment of a national carrier, including interested international partners on setting up a national carrier on the basis of Public Private Partnership, PPP, strategy.

The Permanent Secretary however charged the committee to invite the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, to determine the debt profile of domestic airlines to serve as a guide in its recommendations, and to develop the optimum model for a national flag carrier for the country.

The committee has four weeks to complete its assignment and submit its report.