Air Nigeria is not a fraud – former presidential aide

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Abuja, June 7, 2023 – Bashir Ahmad, the Special Assistant on Digital Communications to former President Muhammadu Buhari, has denied the allegation that Nigeria Air is a fraud.

He said Air Nigeria was not a fraud, contrary to the allegation of House of Representatives Committee on Aviation and some other stakeholders.

Ahmad made the denial denied through a post in his Twitter page, saying that the Aviation Ministry went through due process in establishing Air Nigeria.

Ahmad wrote: “NigeriaAir is NOT a fraud, the Aviation Ministry has made a significant progress towards its realization.

“Branding unveiled, partnerships and agreements signed, most of the operational certificates issued, and operational offices opened. Nigeria Air will fly to make Nigeria proud.”

The House of Representatives’ Committee on Aviation had made the allegation on Tuesday that the procurement and launch of Nigeria Air were fraudulent after some stakeholders in the deal between the Federal Government and Ethiopian Airlines denied knowledge of the launch.

The other stakeholders made the allegation that the aircraft, bearing Nigerian colours at the launch ceremony, actually belonged to Ethiopian Airlines.

The committee also passed a resolution asking the federal government to suspend the operations of Nigeria Air.

Nnolim Nnaji, the Chairman of the House Committee, made the allegation while speaking at an investigative hearing with Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and representatives of the Ministry of Aviation on Tuesday.

The committee faulted the process leading to the launch of Nigeria Air at the tail end of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, describing the exercise as a fraud.

Nnaji declared the launch of Nigeria Air as a fraud after the major stakeholders in the deal between the Federal Government and Ethiopian Airlines denied knowledge of the launch.

The management of Nigeria Air has also confirmed that the aircraft was leased. saying it rented the aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines just for the purpose of the unveiling ceremony.

Dapo Olumide, the acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, said the management leased the aircraft just to show what the real aircraft of Air Nigeria would look like.

He said Nigeria Airline had not secured an operating licence for full flight operations, adding that the processes were still on. (GBN)

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