For the first time, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday personally provided an update on the plan to establish a national carrier for Nigeria.
The President spoke on the matter in Abuja while declaring open the third Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organised to evaluate the level of progress made in the implementation of the Nine Priority Agenda of his administration.
Buhari said the establishment of Nigeria Air is at 91 per cent completion, and is expected to commence flight operations before the end of this year.
He said the feat is being boosted with the certification of Lagos and Abuja international airports by the International Civil Aviation Organization, while Kano and Port Harcourt Airports are undergoing similar certification processes.
The President said “high-impact projects” had been implemented across the country to meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
He highlighted progress made in the areas of agriculture, economy, infrastructure, security, health, anti-corruption among others.
Buhari told participants and guests at the retreat, including the Keynote Speaker and immediate past President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, that over 3,800 kilometres of roads had been constructed across the country, while 38 new aircraft were acquired for the Nigerian Air Force to boost the fight against insurgency.
He added that 38.7 million Nigerians had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing 35 per cent of the total eligible population target for vaccination.
On infrastructure, the President said: “In recognition of the importance of critical infrastructure in economic development and the quest of this administration to leave a lasting legacy, we have implemented high-impact projects across the length and breadth of the country that meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
“Some of the notable achievements include the completion of 326km Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri rail line and railway ancillary facilities; the completion of over 156.5km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway modernization project with extension to Lagos Port, Apapa.
“On road projects, this administration has constructed 408Km of roads; 2,499Km of SUKUK roads and maintenance of 15,961Km of roads across the country.
“Key among these projects are the construction of 1.9km 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta States with 10.30km approach road; rehabilitation, construction and expansion of Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan dual carriageway; the ongoing rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna – Zaria – Kano Road, among others.”
Senate President Ahmed Lawan delivered goodwill messages at the retreat.