Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, has described former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika as a drowning man contradicting as lies, the former minister’s allegations that he demanded five percent stake in Nigeria Air.

According to Nnaji, it is not strange that Sirika came up with this spurious allegations against his person because he remained consistent in demanding that he followed due process. 

He said,”Sirika is a drowning man struggling to grab anything on his way to survive the barrage of attacks he has been receiving since his controversial unveiling ceremony of the so-called Nigeria Air.READ ALAO:Sirika responds Nnaji, ‘You demanded 5% bribe from Nigeria Air project’

“Ordinarily, l would not have bothered to reply to his allegations of my demand for 5 percent equity in Nigeria Air as he claimed during his interview on Arise Television but l believe l owe my constituents and indeed Nigerians a duty to put the records straight. 

Nnaji went on to explain that last year when the Minister announced Ethiopian Airlines as core investor in Nigeria Air, his committee which was also inundated with petitions from various stakeholders regarding that announcement invited the Minister and his team to furnish the committee with the details of the project.

He said, “The committee requested for the evidence of the bid process that gave Ethiopian Airlines the award and the full business case as prepared by the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, (ICRC) which was supposed to spell out the details of all the investors and their equity contributions.

“Sirika at that meeting said it (Fulll Business Case) was still being worked out by the ICRC and promised to make it available to the committee as soon  it was ready which he failed to do before Airline Operators of Nigeria,  (AON) took the Ministry to court and got injunction restraining it from going ahead with the project.

“Of course we suspended our discussions and enquiries on the project the moment the court got involved. Normally when a matter is before the court the parliament does not discuss it.

“However, on May 20th 2023, l received reports of threats of mass resignations by key personnel of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) due to pressures from the Ministry to give waivers to Nigeria Air to enable it secure  Air Operator’s Certificate, (AOC) so that it could take Off before the exit of the last administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I quickly issued a statement warning the former Minister against subverting the authority of NCAA because of its severe consequences on Nigerian air transport sector. It is also a common knowledge that the Nigerian institutional investors he mentioned as participants have all denied him.

“He should not deviate from the subject matter. Let him tell Nigerians the truth about the contraption he sold to us as Nigeria Air. Nnolim Nnaji is not his problem.

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