FG Halts Nigeria Air

Nigeria Air will not fly now, the Federal Government said yesterday.

Contracts awarded in respect of the controversial project, which immediate past Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika devoted energy in the last days of the Buhari Administration, will be properly audited.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, stated this yesterday during his first visit to the nation’s foremost gateway – the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

He also hinted of the plans for comprehensive reform of the sector to put things right.

Beginning from October 1, all foreign airlines will originate their flights from the new terminal of the MMIA to pave the way for renovation of the old terminal.

On the reasons for the decision on Nigeria Air, Keyamo said: “Nigeria Air has been suspended until I brief the President whom I owe absolute loyalty and honesty to the people of Nigeria about all that transpired concerning that project.

“We have to ensure that everything is right before we can go ahead with further transactions on it.”

As of the last count, the Federal Government had sunk N3 billion into the Nigeria Air project before May 29.

Ethiopian Airline, which got the franchise to run the national carrier was to have 49 per cent stake. Nigeria Sovereign Fund and the Federal Government providing 46 per cent and five per cent respectively.

Local airliners, under the auspices of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), was at the forefront of opposition to the project.

Its members instituted a legal action to force the reversal of the government decision to hire Ethiopian Airline to run a national carrier.

On May 26, a plane with Nigeria Airline inscription touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA).


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