Reps Alleges Fraud in the unveiling of Nigeria Air, demands prosecution of all officials

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The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has called for the suspension of the establishment of Nigeria Air.

It also called for prosecuting those involved in the unveiling of the national carrier by the previous administration, describing the exercise as a fraud.

The resolutions were reached on Tuesday during the committee’s interactive session with some government officials and other relevant bodies in the sector at the National Assembly Complex, Abuja.

The Chairman of the Committee, Nnolim Nnaji (PDP, Enugu), read the resolutions of the Committee at the end of the interaction.

The session was attended by members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), representatives of the Ministry of Aviation, and others.

An aircraft purportedly belonging to the national carrier was unveiled by the immediate past Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport premises in Abuja on 26 May.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Emmanuel Meribole, explained that the “unveiling” done by the former minister was not an official launching but a display of “aspiration”. He added that the Ministry did not spend a dime on the event.

Mr. Meribole admitted that Nigeria Air had not gotten the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) approval to operate as an airline.

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“We are in the process, we have not gotten an AOC for us to do official launching. But the processes are ongoing.

“To the best of my knowledge, from 2017 till date, we have not spent up to N3.8 billion because that is the appropriation money. The appropriation is there. No kobo was approved by the ministry. No kobo was spent on the unveiling. The unveiling is “aspirational” to allow people to see,” he said.

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