An aircraft in Nigeria Air colours was sighted on Friday at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport in Ethiopia, perhaps in readiness to fly into the country as promised by the outgoing minister of aviation.
According to a Vanguard report, the aircraft is scheduled to land at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, later on Friday as the outgoing administration seeks to reverse the impression of its failure to fulfill the promise of establishing a national carrier.
The Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, stated that an aircraft in Nigeria Air colours is on its way to Nigeria in less than 24 hours.
In an interview with Channels Television, the minister said that a Nigeria Air aircraft will land in the country in two days as part of the process to commence operations and unveil the delivery process.
He promised that the aircraft would be unveiled in Nigeria’s colors in fulfillment of all the promises made by the administration in the aviation sector.
Sirika had said at an aviation stakeholder forum in Abuja in March that Nigeria Air would commence full operations before the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Responding to a question on when exactly Nigeria Air will commence operations, the minister said, “Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly.”
He added that the Federal Government is leaving the aviation sector better than it met it, having achieved over 90% of the aviation sector road map.
In a report on Monday, Global Financial Digest described the failure of the Buhari administration in bringing to pass its promise to berth the national carrier during his tenure according to his campaign promises.
The report stated that Buhari’s well-touted plans to float a national carrier, Nigeria Air, have failed to materialize seven days before the expiration of his tenure, despite huge resources committed to the project by his administration.
However, industry experts and stakeholders are questioning the rationale behind the launch of a national carrier with barely 72 hours until the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
They also wondered how the aircraft could fly into the country without getting an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA.
In a chat with the principal partner of Avaero Capital, Sindy Foster, she said, “This is very poor indeed and a complete reflection of the entire shabby plan by the Federal Government.
“Nigeria deserves better. Sadly, some Nigerians think this is what they deserve. Does Nigerian Air have an AOC?
“If people did not love this country, no one would be bothered. The reputation of the country was bad enough; now court orders are just being ignored by government officials with impunity.
“Deals are being done with question marks hanging over them. 11th-hour non-launch of an airline for optics and the fake ticking of boxes on a so far non-existent roadmap We should be celebrating genuine things.”
Also, the President of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria (AOPAN), Alex Nwuba, said: “Can there be anything good in what is bad?
“This could have been the best thing, but it got contaminated with nuclear waste.
“What an opportunity for greatness! What are you going to do with this now?
“To achieve excellence, you must condemn mediocrity. This is not representative of the green, white, and green. But why the condemnation?”
Quoting the nation’s national anthem, he states, “Is this the path to lofty heights for a great nation and to soar in aviation?
“Nigeria is greater than some people want to direct it. I reject this project in its entirety, confident that in a few days, we will chart a new path to our destiny,” he added.
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