EFCC sunmons former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, over launch of Nigria Air

EFCC sunmons former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, over launch of Nigria Air

The Economic and Financial Crimes panel (EFCC) has called Hadi Sirika, the former Minister of Aviation, to appear before the panel in connection with the recently inaugurated Nigeria Air.

According to Thisday, the anti-graft agency also questioned officials from Nigerian Air about the airline’s recent inauguration in Abuja.

While the minister was scheduled to come before the commission within the next week to address concerns about the debut of Nigerian Air, which was dressed in Ethiopian flags, the commission had already grilled some alleged officials of the national carrier.

When contacted, EFCC spokesman Wilson Uwujaren confirmed that an investigation was underway but could not provide any specifics.

“I can confirm that there is an ongoing investigation in that regard,” he said.

According to the report, the commission would look at the N3 billion sunk into the project though some stakeholders insisted that over N80 billion was expended on the project.

The minister had, at the twilight of the Buhari’s administration, caused the supposed launch of the Nigerian Air in Abuja using an Ethiopian aircraft.

Stakeholders were enraged that an Ethiopian airline that landed in Nigeria with Ethiopian colours was packaged as a national carrier.

The minister had said at a recent Arise News Channel interview that the landing of the Ethiopian aircraft in Abuja, was “a marketing strategy.”

“We have already questioned some officials of Nigerian Air. We have invited the former Aviation minister, Hadi Sirika. We are expecting him within the week”, a source was quoted as saying

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) disclosed last week that the airline was still on the first stage in a five-phase process of obtaining Air Operator Certificate (AOC) to operate as a commercial airline.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) had also consistently opposed the idea on several grounds.

Speaking on the matter recently, the spokesman of AON, Obiora Okonkwo, warned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu not to be “blackmailed into accepting a contraption that would definitely and ultimately hurt the Nigerian economy and destroy millions of existing jobs in favour of one or two individuals”.

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