The Nigerian government has removed Lufthansa Consulting from the consortium appointed to advise on the setting up of a new national carrier, the Premium Times has reported.

On February 7, the Federal Executive Council accepted the proposal drafted by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and replaced the Lufthansa Group consultancy unit with the UK-based Airline Management Group. Avia Solutions GE will also be a part of the consortium.

Lufthansa Consulting was dropped mostly over a potential conflict of interest, as well as due to disagreements over the terms of the payment.

"We felt that consulting is an appendage of the airline group and that might bring the conflict of interests, because Lufthansa themselves may want to join, partner or help in the process during the procurement phase of this transaction," Sirika said.

The German group also reportedly asked for payment in euros, not in Nigerian nairas, and demanded that the money is deposited into an account in a bank outside Nigeria.

Sirika underlined that because of these disagreements, no contract was ever signed between the Nigerian government and Lufthansa Consulting.

Nigeria's last state-owned airline, Nigeria Airways (WT, Lagos), ceased operations in 2003. Since then the country has been served by a number of mostly smaller privately-owned operators. The largest airline in the country, Arik Air (W3, Lagos), was effectively taken over by the government agency Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria in early 2017 to prevent it from imminent collapse.