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Reps order suspension of Air Nigeria operation



The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation on Tuesday ordered the suspension of flight operations and other actions associated with the Nigeria Air project.

The chairman of the committee, Nnaji Nnolim, gave the directive at a meeting with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and Representatives of the Ministry of Aviation in Abuja.

He described the unveiling of Nigeria Air as a fraud and called for the prosecution of individuals or organizations involved in the exercise.

The former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, unveiled the Nigeria Air on May 26 in Abuja.

The take-off of the airline was slowed by litigation between the AON and the Federal Government on the project.

The airline operators had in 2022 challenged the federal government’s decision to sell the shares of Nigeria Air to Ethiopian Airlines at the Federal High Court, Lagos.

In a ruling delivered on November 11 last year, Justice Lewis Alagoa restrained the former Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and Sirika from implementing the proposed National Carrier Establishment Agreement between the federal government, Nigeria Air Limited, and Ethiopian Airlines.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the chairman expressed concern at the launching of Nigeria Air despite an existing court order on the matter.

He also condemned the role played by Ethiopian Airlines in the process.

Nnolim said: “A careful review of the process indicates the exercise to be highly opaque, shrouded in secrecy, shoddy and capable of ridiculing and tarnishing the image of Nigeria before the international community.

“ We want to put on record, that the committee and indeed the National Assembly had no role in the purported launch of Nigeria Air or anything related thereof.”

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