Reps to probe failed Nigeria Air project

Beloved JohnDecember 7, 20233 min

The committee said circumstances surrounding the botched Nigeria Air adventure will be unravelled and findings made to Nigerians 

Nigeria Air

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation Technology is set to probe the controversy that trailed the launch of the Nigeria Air project.

The committee’s chairman, Abiodun Isaq Akinlade (APC, Ogun), disclosed this at the committee’s inauguration on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at the National Assembly.

The federal government, under the immediate past Muhammadu Buhari administration, had unveiled Nigeria Air as a national carrier. According to the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the national carrier would be private-sector driven.

However, in August, barely three months after the unveiling, the new minister of aviation, Festus Keyamo, announced the suspension of the Nigeria Air project, citing complaints from government agencies as a significant factor.

Speaking on this, the chairman of the newly inaugurated committee said they will work with the Committee on Aviation and Aerospace to look into the controversy and keep Nigerians informed.

“The committee of aviation and aerospace Technology, in conjunction with the on Aviation and Aerospace, will look into the controversy surrounding the launched Nigeria Air and inform Nigerians accordingly,” he said.

Rep. Akinlade also disclosed that the committee intends to carefully scrutinise the 2024 budget of the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace and relevant agencies under its purview, saying it will not hesitate to sanction any official who fails to appear before it to defend the budget.

“This is the budget period, as a committee will approach the process with all sense of responsibility. We shall cross all the ‘Ts’ and dot all the ‘Is.’ We seek the cooperation of the minister of Aviation and Aerospace and other DAs and Agencies under our supervision.

“We shall not hesitate to sanction anyone that fails to attend the budget defence to give account on their stewardship as we commence the Budget process and other assignments of this Committee in this 10′ Assembly,” he said.

Also speaking, a committee member, Martins Esin (PDP, Akwa Ibom), emphasised the importance of air travel in the country and the tasks to be shouldered by the committee.

The country, he said, is bedevilled by security challenges that have made air the safest mode of transportation. “Due to the security situation in the country, air travel is no longer a luxury. In recent years, the number of plane users has increased significantly. This is not just a random choice but also because this is the only safe option.”

Olumide Osoba (APC, Ogun), in his contribution, said given the increasing number of citizens travelling by air, ensuring that airspace is safe for use is a priority. The lawmaker expressed concern about frequent air mishaps  in the country.

“No month goes by that we don’t have a commercial or military air mishap. We are the committee on aviation technology,” he said, adding “we have an enormous task to ensure the airspace is safe.”

Beloved John

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