February 28, 2024

The House of Representatives has unveiled plans to conduct forensic audit of the failed National Carrier Project otherwise known as ‘Nigeria Air’.

To this extent, the former Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika who midwifed the project, is expected to appear before the House of Representatives to give account of his stewardship on the failed National Carrier project, otherwise christened ‘Nigeria Air’.

The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion sponsored by Hon. Tarkighir Dickson, who expressed grave concern over the public outcry trailing the financial scandal.

In his lead debate, Dickson recalled that in 2016 the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika proposed an aviation roadmap with national carrier as the signature project, aiming to deliver it to Nigerians by the end of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

“The House also notes that the former Minister of Aviation, approached Ethiopian Airlines a few days before the handover, to provide an aircraft that could be made available to Nigerians as an aircraft belonging to Nigeria Air and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had issued an Air Transport License to Nigeria Air, that was the name for the proposed National Carrier.

“The House is aware that the last administration spent billions of naira ostensibly to acquire the said new National Carrier but the status of the project remains unclear regardless of billions of taxpayers; funds utilised on the project.

“The House is worried that if the negative trend is not investigated, it may lead to issues with accountability and continue to be a recurring expenditure item in the federal budget,” he noted.

To this end, the House urged the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and Ministries of Budget, National Planning and Finance to furnish the House with data and financial resources on the national air carrier project.

In the same vein, the House mandated all the relevant Standing Committees on Aviation to invite the Minister of Aviation to give account of the National Carrier Project.

The joint committee is also expected to invite the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to brief the Committee on the status of the project at the point he handed it over and provide insights on a wide range of controversies and allegations surrounding the project.

The House also mandated the Committee to invite the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to brief the Committee about the Nigeria Air Carrier Project and its certifications as applied to the National Air Carrier.

Also expected to appear before the standing committee are management team of 8 local airlines and their associations to afford the House a full overview of the project.

While ruling on the investigative motion, Deputy Speaker, Hon Benjamin Kalu mandated the joint committees to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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