FG suspends Nigeria Air Indefinitely

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The federal government has declared the indefinite suspension of the Nigeria Air airline project.

Festus Keyamo, Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, revealed this during a cabinet briefing to commemorate the one year of the Tinubu administration.

According to him, the airline was never a Nigerian airline but instead, an attempt to impersonate a foreign airline operating in Nigeria.

He also hinted at plans for the resumption of cargo flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Back in January, the minister said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had commenced investigation into the controversial Nigeria Air deal sealed by the Federal Government during the tenure of ex-Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika.

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

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 2023.

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