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EFCC Summons Ex-Aviation Minister, Sirika, and Investigates Nigerian Air’s Controversial Launch

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EFCC Summons Ex-Aviation Minister, Sirika, and Investigates Nigerian Air’s Controversial Launch

In a recent development, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has summoned the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and initiated an investigation into the launch of Nigerian Air, the country’s supposed national carrier. The anti-graft agency is looking into allegations surrounding the launch, including the usage of an Ethiopian aircraft and the financial implications of the project.

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Sources have revealed that the EFCC’s inquiry will focus on the approximately N3 billion investment in the airline, although some stakeholders argue that over N80 billion was actually spent. The probe aims to shed light on the decision-making process and financial transactions related to the launch, bringing to the forefront concerns regarding transparency and accountability in the aviation sector.

The controversy surrounding the Nigerian Air project intensified when an Ethiopian airline, landed in Abuja as part of the supposed launch. This move drew widespread criticism, with stakeholders expressing their discontent over the Ethiopian carrier being packaged as Nigeria’s national airline. In a recent interview on Arise News Channel, Hadi Sirika defended the landing of the Ethiopian aircraft, describing it as a “marketing strategy.”

Prior to summoning the former Aviation minister, the EFCC had already questioned several officials associated with Nigerian Air. While details of the ongoing investigation remain undisclosed, spokesman Wilson Uwujaren confirmed the agency’s active inquiry. The EFCC’s engagement indicates a commitment to uncovering any potential wrongdoing and holding those responsible accountable.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has revealed that Nigerian Air is still in the initial phase of a five-step process to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for commercial airline operations. However, the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have consistently opposed the idea, citing various concerns. AON spokesman Obiora Okonkwo warned Mr. Bola Ahmed Tinubu against succumbing to blackmail and cautioned that accepting a flawed venture could have detrimental effects on the Nigerian economy, jeopardizing millions of existing jobs.

As the EFCC summons Hadi Sirika, a key figure in the launch of Nigerian Air, and intensifies its investigation into the controversial project, stakeholders eagerly await further developments. The outcome of the probe will not only shape the narrative surrounding the launch but also determine the course of action required to ensure transparency, accountability, and the sustainability of Nigeria’s aviation industry.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on multiple sources and ongoing investigations. The views and statements expressed by stakeholders are attributed to them and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publication.

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