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Nigerian lawmakers to begin fresh investigation into flunked Nigeria Air project


Nigeria’s House of Representatives has summoned the country’s immediate past aviation minister, Hadi Sirika, for questioning over the status of the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air, at the time of his departure from office. The former minister is expected to shed light on various controversies surrounding the project.


On May 26, 2023, a Boeing 737-800 series aircraft with the ‘Nigeria Air’ brank markings was unveiled by Sirika as one of the planes for Nigeria’s proposed national carrier. But speculations soon spread that the plane was an 11-year-old aircraft acquired from Ethiopian Airlines (ET) and was still in active service at the time it arrived in Nigeria.


Following the controversy and legal battles that trailed the project, the newly appointed aviation minister Festus Keyamo, suspended it after Sirika said the aircraft was unveiled as a “marketing strategy.”


Nigerian lawmakers are now looking to unearth the facts. “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 utilized on the project,” Tarkighir Dickson, a member of the House of Representatives, said on Thursday.


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