Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Stakeholders Call for Probe of Nigeria Air

There have been renewed calls for a comprehensive investigation into the Nigeria Air project in order to reassure the global aviation industry on the Nigerian aviation sector.

Stakeholders in airline management are expressing worry that the transactions embarked upon by the former Minister of Aviation , Hadi Sirika on the project have not been looked into.

Sources close to the project say until the Federal Government makes public definite action to call to order persons and organisations that embarked on alleged infractions concerning the project, intending investors could be wary to commit funds into the airline.

Hadi Sirika had admitted shortly after leaving office that the Ministry of Aviation committed over N3 billion into the project.

Sirika said the N3 billion released in seven years for the project were spent on consultative services and office maintenance. Sirika said the government did not pay for the chartered Ethiopian aircraft showcased as Nigeria Air, as it was brought by Ethiopian Airlines to demonstrate commitment to the project.

Nigeria Air Has No Operating Licence-Airlines

He said  reports suggesting that  N85 billion was spent  on   the project  was untrue, emphasising that only N5 billion was budgeted and not all of the N3 billion released was expended during his tenure.

Experts familiar with the project say much more funds could have been committed into the controversial carrier, as the process of its delivery remained shoddy, triggering more questions than answers.

Besides the probe by the Federal Government on the role of the ex- minister of aviation on the project, industry experts say full disclosure is needed on the stake of the named technical partner/ core investor- Ethiopian Airlines,

To regain the confidence of prospective investors, experts say the Federal Government needs to give details on the stake of institutional investors initially connected with the project as well as the role of facilitating agencies including : Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),Ministry of Finance and others

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