African Development Bank (AfDB) and African Export, Import Bank (Afreximbank) have agreed to raise capital base of about $20 billion for the actualisation of federal government’s plan to establish aircraft leasing company and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility.

This is in line with the two financial institutions’ objective to support aviation development in Africa in order to expand and improve inter-city connectivity in the region and give teeth to Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM), a treaty signed by the African Union to promote air connectivity in the continent.

Informed source from the Ministry of Transportation told THISDAY on Tuesday that the two banks have keyed into the plan by the government of Nigeria to establish the leasing company, which it planned the national carrier, which would be birthed before the end of 2018 would source its aircraft from.

The source said that it is projected that part of the fund would be used to acquire about 50 medium range aircraft for short-haul flights to various destinations in West and Central Africa in addition to domestic operation.

“With about $4 billion the leasing company will acquire about 50 medium size aircraft for both domestic and regional flights. The banks want to support airlines in West and Central Africa with the leasing company which is being facilitated by the federal government and the major aircraft that will be acquired will be mainly Boeing, Airbus and possibly Bombardier, depending on the request of each airline that partners with the leasing company,” the source said.