Sirika Denies Spending $8.8M On Suspended Nigeria Air

* Source : CH-Aviation


…Only N90M So Far Committed To Project—Minister


Minister of State, Aviation, Senator, Hadi Sirika, today denied that the sum of $8.8million was spent on the suspended Nigeria Air project, contrary to speculations in the media.

This clarification has cleared the air the controversies surrounding the suspension of the national carrier project, Nigeria

The Minister, who made the clarification while speaking at the 5th Aviation Stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, added that only a little over N90 million has committed to it so far.

He further refuted the allegation that the sum of $600,000 was paid to foreign company to design the Nigeria Air Logo and that due process was followed throughout, as against the rumour speculated in some quarters

According to him, “Due process was followed in retaining the services of the company and Certificate of “No Objection” Ref. No. BPP / RPT/ 18/ VOL 1/095 in the sum of N40,219,769.20 was obtained.  Payment to the Consultant is yet to be made. Certain media publications that $8.8 million was expended at the Farnborough Airshow is unfounded, malicious, misleading, mischievous and baseless.

He continued, “The Transaction Advisers for National Carrier coordinated the campaign and provided the additional services that included the development of the brand strategy and the media activities relating to the unveiling of the Airline. Due process was followed in the branding, which included obtaining ‘’No Objection’’ Certificate with Ref. No.BPP/RPT/18/VOL.1/075 from the Bureau of Public Procurement for the sum of N50,893,000.00. Payment for these services is yet to be made. No foreign company was paid $600,000 for the design of the logo as speculated”.

Sirika disclosed that the aircraft manufacturers after series of meeting with them were ready to give 30 aircraft, 15 for start-up while 15 would be delivered afterwards.

According to Sirika,“We could have gone ahead with the project but needed viability funding, the manufacturers needed guarantee of investment and these was an issue on the board of the US-Exim bank which was ready to give the money, we needed to settle all these”,

“The Outline Business Case Report was reviewed and Certificate of Compliance issued by the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission with the following conditions: Commitment to leverage private sector capital and expertise towards the establishment of the national carrier through the provision of an upfront grant / Viability Gap Funding, Zero contribution of Government  to Airline Management Decisions, No step-in rights and  zero management control by Government”, the Minister, said.

Nigeria Air, he further explained was incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and a domain name; was reserved for the Airline.

“Discussions were held with major aircraft manufacturers who were committed to sourcing very good lease aircraft for the take-off of the Airline pending the new aircraft. There were discussions with partner airlines as well as financial institutions and the Request for Qualification, Information Memorandum and Request for Proposal were being fine-tuned for publication”, he added.

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