EFCC investigating Nigeria Air deal, says Keyamo

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Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo says the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating the controversial Nigeria Air deal

The Nigeria Air deal was sealed by Hadi Sirika, the immediate former minister of aviation, on behalf of the Nigerian government.

On May 26, 2023, a plane belonging to Nigeria Air, the proposed national carrier, landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

Sirika had told Nigerians two days before the plane touched down in Abuja that an aircraft belonging to Nigeria Air, would arrive in the country on Friday ahead of the commencement of operations.

However, on August 31, 2023, Keyamo announced the suspension of the Nigeria Air. The minister said the projects would be put on hold until further notice.

Keyamo spoke on Wednesday evening when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“First of all, I have said it before and I will still say it. It was not a deal that was good for Nigeria in the long run,” the minister said.

“The whole composition and totality of that deal was merely Ethiopian Air flying the Nigerian flag. It was not a national carrier. Two things. A flag carrier is different from a national carrier.

“So while we were being told that a national carrier was coming, it was not a national carrier, it was a foreign airline trying to fly the Nigerian flag.

“The EFCC is investigating that deal. There is a criminal investigation going on. I have called for the report.”

Keyamo insisted that no local airline would be designated as a national airline, noting that “we will establish a proper national carrier”.