Aviation minister Keyamo suspends Nigeria Air project
The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo (SAN), on Thursday ordered the suspension of the Nigeria Air project.
Keyamo gave this directive during a tour of the international airports in Lagos, where he was accompanied by the Managing Director (MD) of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Kabir Yusuf Mohammed.
Keyamo also put on hold all arrangements under his predecessor, Hadi Sirika, to enable proper audit of contracts in the aviation industry.
He has also put a halt to the concession project, saying that he owes it to the federal government (FG) and Nigerians to give an honest assessment.
The recently-appointed minister of aviation further said the suspension will be in place until he briefs President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“A few months after Nigeria Air was launched with so much fanfare, using a borrowed airplane, it is now suspended,” Keyamo said.
“I owe it to the government and Nigerians to provide an honest assessment.”
The then acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Captain Dapo Olumide, had, revealed that the plane unveiled on the last day of the Muhammadu Buhari administration in May was a chartered aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines.
The launch was widely viewed as a scam. The plane that was unveiled was said to be over 10 years old and had been previously operated by Ethiopian and Malawi Airlines.
Nigeria’s Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation had both labelled the launch of the Nigeria Air as a fraud.
Keyamo also said that the old international terminal of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos would be shut down by October 1, 2023 for renovation.
He further gave a directive that all private hangars would be relocated to pave way for expansion of the new terminal.
“The major complaints have been with the old terminal. That place is an eyesore to Nigerians coming in. The lifts are not working,” Keyamo said.
“The passage is unwelcoming and there is no air conditioner. We have the new terminal but cannot be used. It was designed without provision for big planes.
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