Lawmakers To Grill Aviation, Justice Ministries Officials Over Painted ‘Nigeria Air’

By Damilare Adeleye

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has slated to commence its investigative hearing on the controversial launch of Air Nigeria, a purported Nigeria’s national carrier, by the last administration led by Muhammadu Buhari.

The committee had invited relevant stakeholders to the hearing earlier scheduled for Monday in Abuja. However, representatives of most of the stakeholders had left the venue before the arrival of the committee’s Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, who came about two hours behind schedule.

The stakeholders invited by the committee include the Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Ethiopian Airlines as well as aviation fuel (Jet-A1) suppliers.

Nnaji, after his arrival, apologised to stakeholders who waited behind at the venue, asking that the hearing be postponed to 3pm on Tuesday (today).

The Federal Government had bypassed domestic airlines, under the aegis of the Airline Operators of Nigeria, and signed a deal with Ethiopian Airlines to float the Nigerian carrier.

The AON had consequently dragged the government and its agencies before a court to stop the process.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Friday took delivery of the first plane of the country’s national carrier, Nigeria Air, at the twilight of the administration amidst protests from local operators that it was contrary to a court order, which barred the government from taking further action on the project.