President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of the week assured that the promised national carrier would commence flight operations on or before December this year.
The president gave the assurance at the 3rd Ministerial Performance Review Retreat on Monday in Abuja.
The president said about 91 percent of work has been done on the establishment of the national carrier for Nigeria, saying the feat is being boosted with the certification of Lagos and Abuja airports by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
He said Kano and Port Harcourt airports are undergoing similar certification processes.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigeria Air gulps N14.6 billion, under five percent government’s equity share.
NAN reliably learnt that the Nigerian government had already taken delivery of nine out of the 20 training aircraft meant for the smooth preparation for the Nigeria Air project.
On the economy at the retreat, the president restated that the country had witnessed seven consecutive quarters of growth, after negative growth rates recorded in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters of 2020.
According to him, high-impact projects have also been implemented across the country meeting the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.
Mr Buhari highlighted remarkable progress made in the areas of agriculture, infrastructure, security, health and anti-corruption, among others.
He told participants and guests at the retreat, including former Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta as keynote speaker, that over 3,800km of roads had been constructed across the country.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who also addressed the participants on Tuesday, pledged to build on the legacies of President Muhammadu Buhari, if elected as president in 2023.
Mr Tinubu, who made an appearance at the retreat on the invitation of the organisers, commended Mr Buhari for doing so well for Nigeria since he assumed office in 2015.
Also at the closing of the retreat on October 18, Mr Buhari warned ministers, permanent secretaries and heads of government agencies not to abandon the business of governance for electioneering, saying ”any infraction will be viewed seriously”.
He told participants that with the commencement of campaigns towards the 2023 general elections, the business of governance must continue to receive the needed attention during this period.
The president, who signed the Executive Order 012 on Improving Performance Management, Coordination and Implementation of Presidential Priorities, directed the Ministry of Transportation and relevant security agencies to ensure the provision of maximum security along the nation’s railway corridors.
On October 19, the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, commiserated with Mr Buhari after severe floods claimed many lives and affected millions in the country.
In the condolence message, the Japanese prime minister expressed deep sadness over ”the recent floods caused by heavy rainfall in many states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria which have claimed many precious lives and forced many people to evacuate”.
Buhari also signed into law the Nigeria State-up Bill 2022 on October 19.
The minister of communications and digital economy Isa Pantami confirmed this to State House correspondents shortly after the president appended his signature on the bill to become an act.
According to Pantami, the new act will come into effect with so many economic benefits for the country.
On the same day, the Nigerian leader received a special envoy from President Julius Mada Bio of Sierra Leone, where he wished the West African country best of luck in its general elections, billed for June 2023.
Mr Buhari said: “I am pleased that you are pursuing your political programmes effectively, just like us. We wish each other the best of luck.”
The special envoy, Andre Thomas Hope, said that his country was bidding for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, and solicited for Nigeria’s support.
On October 21, Mr Buhari conferred Nigeria Excellence Awards in Public Service (NEAPS) on former President Goodluck Jonathan and 43 other prominent Nigerians.
NEAPS was set up to recognise distinguished public service to Nigeria, either contributions to individuals, state or local community, or the public through excellence in leadership, service or humanitarianism.
The president inaugurated the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as unveiling the action plan of the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, in Abuja on Friday.
At the event, Mr Buhari says the APC-led Federal Government has ”managed to make Nigeria stable,” laying a solid foundation for progressive growth despite socio-economic challenges facing the country.
According to him, the APC-led administration has continued to stabilise the country despite the unfavourable circumstances of global economic downturns, COVID-19 pandemic and very low international oil prices resulting in low revenue.
Buhari concluded the week with the inauguration of the Pinnacle Oil and Gas FZE Terminal in Lekki, Lagos, on Saturday, saying the operations of the facility will ease congestion at the Apapa Port area.
In a video message at the inauguration of the facility, the president said it had also reduced cost and delivery of petroleum products distribution to many parts of the country.
He congratulated the Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd’s CEO Peter Mbah for establishing the massive terminal facility and for providing hundreds of jobs for Nigerians.
NAN reports that the president has since departed Abuja for Seoul, South Korea, to participate in the First World Bio Summit 2022, and other official engagements.
The two-day (Oct. 25-26) summit with the theme: ”The Future of Vaccine and Bio-Health,” is jointly organised by the Government of the Republic of Korea and the World Health Organisation (WHO).