EFCC investigating Nigeria Air deal — Keyamo

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is looking into the contentious Nigeria Air agreement negotiated by the Federal Government during the time of former Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika.

“The EFCC is investigating that deal,” Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday.

He said “there is a criminal investigation going on. I have called for the report”.

Keyamo also said no local airline would be designated as national airline, adding that “we will established a proper national carrier”.

Last August, shortly after he was sworn in as minister, Keyamo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), faulted the deal by Sirika and suspended the whole arrangement which was hurriedly unveiled by days to the end of the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, to enable proper audit of contracts.

The controversy surrounding the establishment of Nigeria’s national carrier, Nigeria Air had forced veteran aviator, Girma Wake, to resign as Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines.

The then Interim Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Capt Dapo Olumide, had said the aircraft used to unveil the country’s national career was a legitimate chartered flight from Ethiopian Airlines, adding that the aircraft was returned to Ethiopian Airlines after the unveiling on the last day of the Buhari administration in May.

Nigeria’s Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation had both labelled the launch of the Nigeria Air as a fraud.