Airline operators under the aegis of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) said the suspension of Nigeria Air by the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Festus Keyamo would allow for a thorough review of the project and would help put things right and help restore Nigeria’s image in the global aviation family.
The operators in a statement by their spokesman, Prof. Obiorah Okonkwo commended the Minister for the suspension of the project until he briefs President Bola Tinubu on the position to take on the project said by the action, the minister displayed rare courage and great patriotism to save Nigeria from further embarrassment in the aviation world.
“Aside from stakeholders in the aviation industry, it was evident to everyone who had followed developments around the Nigeria Air project under the immediate past administration that the idea was not only ill-throughout but also lacked any modicum of transparency.
“It was, therefore, no surprise that the House of Representatives Committees on Aviation which investigated the process and purported launch of Nigeria Air on Friday, June 2, 2023, described it as a ‘fraud’.
Okonkwo alleged that it remains a puzzle to Nigerians why the processes of actualizing such a major national project were shrouded in almost utter secrecy until the end of the last government.
“However, we remain confident that by suspending the Nigeria Air project to allow for a thorough review, the Aviation Minister Festus Keyamo will put things right and help restore Nigeria’s image in the global aviation family.”
“AON continues to believe that it is not right to float a national carrier on the terms set out by the last Aviation Minister, which would undermine, even destroy, the aviation sector in Nigeria with Ethiopian Airlines waiting on the wings for total takeover. We have no doubt that the new Aviation Minister has the right vision for the development of the sector which is driven by public interest considerations for the good of Nigerians.”
He pledged the airline owners’ unalloyed support in the quest to reform the aviation sector and implement other components of the aviation roadmap for the overall good of the Nigerian economy.
The Minister had on Thursday during the tour of facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos told journalists that the Nigeria Air and concession project had been suspended to study some controversies around the vexed issues.
He stated that they remain suspended and not cancelled until he briefs President Tinubu on the direction to go with the projects.
He also stated that it was important to do so in order to know whether the projects followed due process.