By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation headed by Hon. Nnolim Nnaji has urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to immediately constitute a high powered presidential panel to undertake a holistic review of the Nigeria Air project.
The aviation committee also recomended that all individuals, groups and organisations involved in the controversial unveiling and operation into Nigeria, the Boeing 737-800 aircraft painted in Nigeria Air livery be made to face prosecution.
The committee in a resolution read by Hon. Nnaji at the end of the investigative hearing on the recent unveiling of the National carrier further emphasized the need for the proposed presidential panel, after a careful review of the entire project, advise the Federal Government on the way forward
The committee came up with the resolutions after evaluating the submissions by all the stakeholders and that of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Dr Emmanuel Merebole who, in his presentation admitted that the airline had not been launched rather the aircraft was chartered to test Nigerians’ acceptance of the project.
Dr Merebole also told the committee that the Nigeria Air had not acquired any aircraft and that it had no air Operator’s Certificate, (AOC) which the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) Captain Musa Nuhu .also collaborated.
The Skypower Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Managing Directoeme, Basi Agbosrimi confirmed that the handling company was yet to acquire shares in the national carrier. The second named Nigerian institutional investor MRS did not turn up for the meeting just as Ethiopian Airlines also abstained.
The committee equally established that shareholders’ agreement was yet to be executed which made it impossible to establish the funds being brought into the projects by all intended investors.
Honourable Nnaji had during his opening statements stressed that the purpose of the interaction was to prepare a guide for the in-coming 10th Assembly to continue, adding that the committee was not opposed to the the establishment of a national carrier but would want it transparently done.
He said it was regrettable that the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika despite promises of supplying the committee details of the transactions, failed to carry the parliament along in the entire arrangement.
He however praised the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) for refusing to bend the rules in favour of the Nigeria Air, urging the authority to remain steadfast in its oversighting of the industry.