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Reps Declare Nigeria Air Launch a Fraud

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The launch of Nigeria Air, which claims to be the nation’s carrier, has recently faced intense scrutiny and controversy as the House of Representatives has raised concerns over potential fraud.

The House Committee on Aviation, led by Chairman Nnolim Nnaji, has expressed doubts regarding the project’s legitimacy due to a lack of transparency and the involvement of key stakeholders.

This article aims to provide an overview of the unfolding situation surrounding Nigeria Air while delving into the allegations made by the House of Representatives.

The House Committee on Aviation, chaired by Nnolim Nnaji, has questioned the legitimacy of the Nigeria Air launch, casting doubt on its authenticity.

Major stakeholders, including Ethiopian Airlines, have distanced themselves from the launch, denying any knowledge of its existence.

This has raised suspicions regarding the project’s credibility.

In an attempt to clarify the situation, the Ministry of Aviation stated that Nigeria Air was only unveiled and not officially launched.

However, the committee dismissed this explanation, perceiving it as an effort to divert attention.

During the committee hearing, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) revealed that an aircraft adorned with Nigerian colors was on a chartered flight to Nigeria.

However, it was noted that a chartered flight can be painted in any color and carry any markings, further adding to doubts surrounding the authenticity of the Nigeria Air launch.

To address the concerns raised, the House Committee on Aviation passed a resolution urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to establish a high-level Presidential Committee.

This committee would conduct a thorough review of the Nigeria Air project.

The committee also directed the Ministry of Aviation and its partners to suspend all flight operations and other activities related to Nigeria Air.

Chairman Nnolim Nnaji expressed dissatisfaction with former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for proceeding with the launch despite a standing court injunction and the absence of a sustainable plan for the airline’s operations.

The committee also criticized Ethiopian Airlines for its involvement in the opaque and questionable process, which has the potential to harm Nigeria’s international image.

In response to the allegations, Captain Dapo Olumide, the interim Managing Director of Nigeria Air, clarified that the project was not officially launched but merely involved the unveiling of the logo on an actual aircraft.

The purpose of this unveiling was to counter negative perceptions about the project and provide a tangible representation.

Olumide confirmed that the aircraft unveiled as the national carrier was registered under Ethiopian ownership, emphasizing that this step was necessary to fulfill licensing requirements.

In addition to the House of Representatives, the Senate Committee on Aviation has also expressed concerns regarding the Nigeria Air project.

Chairman Senator Biodun Olujimi criticized the lack of transparency and secrecy surrounding the project’s implementation, highlighting the committee’s inadequate level of information.

Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, the permanent secretary of the aviation ministry, countered this claim by stating that the committee had been briefed on the project by former minister Hadi Sirika.

The Nigeria Air launch has garnered substantial attention due to the House of Representatives’ declaration of fraudulence.

The project faces uncertainty as key stakeholders disclaim any knowledge of its existence, raising ongoing concerns about transparency and sustainability.

The committee’s insistence on a comprehensive review and suspension of operations underscores the critical importance of transparency and accountability within the aviation industry.

As the investigation unfolds, it is crucial to uncover the truth behind the allegations and prioritize the well-being of Nigeria and its citizens in the realm of air transportation.

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