Fraud: Keyamo Confirms Indefinite Suspension of Nigeria Air Project

Fraud: Keyamo Confirms Indefinite Suspension of Nigeria Air Project

by Joseph Anthony
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Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, reiterated that the Nigeria Air project remains suspended indefinitely. He made this announcement while presenting the achievements of the aviation sector during the 3rd ministerial updates in Abuja on Monday.

Keyamo also mentioned plans for the resumption of cargo flights between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia. However, he emphasized that the Nigeria Air project, which had been suspended since last August, would not be resumed.

The minister previously disclosed in January that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had initiated an investigation into the controversial Nigeria Air deal, which was sealed during the tenure of former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika. Keyamo had indicated that a criminal investigation was ongoing, and he had called for the report.

Last year, shortly after assuming office as minister, Keyamo criticized the deal by Sirika and suspended the entire arrangement to allow for a proper audit of contracts. The establishment of Nigeria’s national carrier, Nigeria Air, had sparked controversy, leading to the resignation of veteran aviator Girma Wake as Chairman of Ethiopian Airlines.

Capt Dapo Olumide, the then Interim Managing Director of Nigeria Air, clarified that the aircraft used for unveiling the national carrier was a legitimate chartered flight from Ethiopian Airlines. He stated that the aircraft was returned to Ethiopian Airlines after the unveiling on the last day of the Buhari administration in May 2023.

Both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation had labeled the launch of Nigeria Air as fraudulent, reflecting the widespread concerns surrounding the project.

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