Sirika defends single bid decision on Nigeria Air

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Despite outrage against the choice of Ethiopian Airlines as the preferred bidder for the proposed Nigeria Air, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has insisted that there was nothing wrong with the transaction.

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, directed the Minister to furnish it with the actual financial value of the 49 per cent equity being ceded to Ethiopian Airlines in the proposed Nigeria Air Limited.

The Committee during the meeting stressed that the essence of the interaction was to ensure that Nigerians were not shortchanged.

“You must also ensure that Nigeria Air when established will not have undue advantage over the local airlines,” the committee added.

Also, a former commandant at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Group Captain, John Ojikutu, told Vanguard that, “Our competitor should not be our partner or part owner. If it does our interest becomes subordinated and the competition disappears.”

But Sirika in his response stated that, “Ethiopian Air was the only bidder allowed to bid for the management of the new Nigeria Air because single bidding was in tandem with the laws of the land and there was nothing wrong with it.

“Nigeria Air Ltd carrying the flag of Nigeria does not mean it must belong to Nigeria. There were complete misconceptions about the ownership of the carrier.

“While the government of Nigeria owns five per cent other stakeholders hold 46 per cent of the business totalling 51 per cent.

“Most of the terminals under construction will be commissioned before the end of this administration.

“We have ordered 20 training airlines that use Premium Motor Spirit, PMS. Nine have been delivered.”

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