Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari.

ABUJA — Nigeria Air, Nigeria’s proposed national carrier, is at 91 percent completion and is expected to launch flight operations before the end of this year, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.

Speaking at a meeting reviewing performance of ministries in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, Buhari said the accomplishment 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 Ministry of Aviation announced last month that the national carrier had commenced the recruitment of qualified crew members for flight operations.

The national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a 5 percent stake, Nigerian entrepreneurs 46 percent, while the remaining 49 percent is reserved for assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.

The African country had a national airline as early as in  the 1950s, which operated regional and domestic passenger services.

Due to financial and operational challenges, Air Nigeria ceased operations in September 2012. – Xinhua