According to a statement by the ministry’s Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs, James Odaudu, the government came up with the name after it engaged over 400,000 people on social media.
Sirika, who spoke after the unveiling, said: “I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air.
He said: “We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year.
“I want to personally thank our transaction advisers, led by AMG, and the special Task Force, who have worked diligently to achieve the results so far and overcome the challenges involved.
“We obtained the certificate of compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) two weeks ago and can now go into the investor search. I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier, a global player, compliant to international safety standards, one which has the customer at its heart.
“We hope to establish an airline that communicates the essence of our beautiful country, an airline we can all be proud of.”
On how they came up with the name and livery for the carrier, the minister said: “Following extensive market research, the branding of our new airline, Nigeria Air, demonstrates a true flag carrier of our nation, soaring through the skies in the shape of our nation’s eagle.
“The branding and naming of the new national carrier comes on the back of a social media campaign undertaken under the auspices of the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), which invited Nigerian youth and students for their input and creativity to come up with a name for the new Nigerian flag carrier.
“The Facebook page and websitenameyourairlinenigeria engaged over 400,000 people up until the deadline for submissions, which was June 25, 2018.
“In addition, detailed and extensive market research was commissioned by the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation), which involved focus groups across Nigeria and over 100 interviews with aviation stakeholders and professionals, politicians, Nigerian business owners, students and a broad spectrum of people across Nigeria.”
He said the research concluded that Nigeria is a proud nation with diverse populace, a strong cultural heritage and a people that are hungry for a unifying national flag carrier.
Culled from The Nation Newspaper/Faith Yahaya