Home Airlines AON: Sigh of relief as Minister suspends Nigeria Air project, applauds

AON: Sigh of relief as Minister suspends Nigeria Air project, applauds

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… as minister says, “We have only suspended somethings that people complained about

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), is heaving a sigh of relief as what has been a major torn on their flesh, the Nigeria Air project has been put on hold by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo SAN.

The body in a letter by its spokesman, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo commended the minister for suspending every activity related to the operationalisation of Nigeria Air.

Dr. Obiora states that, they remain confident that by suspending the Nigeria Air project to allow for a thorough review, the minister will put things right and help restore Nigeria’s image in the global aviation family.

According to AON, this action, the minister is  a display of rare courage and great patriotism to save Nigeria from further embarrassment in the aviation world.

The Operators say, they have no doubt that the new Aviation Minister has the right vision for the development of the sector which is driven by public interest considerations for the good of Nigerians.

“Aside from stakeholders in the aviation industry, it was evident to everyone who had followed developments around the Nigeria Air project under the immediate past administration that the idea was not only ill-thought-out but also lacked any modicum of transparency”.

He adds, “It was therefore no surprise that the House of Representatives
Committees on Aviation which investigated the process and purported launch of Nigeria Air on Friday, June 2,
2023 described it as a ‘fraud'”.

The statement emphasized that, it remains a puzzle to Nigerians why the processes of actualizing such a major national project was shrouded in
almost utter secrecy until the end of the last government. 

“AON continues to believe that it is not right to float a national carrier on the terms set out by the last Aviation
Minister, which would undermine, even destroy, the aviation sector in Nigeria with Ethiopian Airlines waiting
on the wings for total takeover”.

“Again, the AON commends the Minister for the great leadership he has shown so early in his tenure and pledge
our unalloyed support in his quest to reform the aviation sector and implement other components of the aviation”, he adds.

It could be recalled that Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development Festus Keyamo Thursday during an inspection of facilities at the Lagos airport announced the suspension of the Nigeria Air project and the Concession of Airports.

Keyamo had said Nigeria Air should be suspended until he briefs the President to make sure that the processes followed where transparent.

“I am totally responsible to the feelings of Nigerians, we have not cancelled anything, we have only suspended somethings that people complained about, we must be responsive to the feelings of Nigerians”.
“If something is good but it is not transparent because the Nigerian people must know the processes by which you give out their commonwealth, nobody owe all of these not myself, not Asiwaju not anybody, it is the commonwealth of Nigerians and so Nigerians must be aware of how you give out their commonwealth to individuals in the name of concessioning , they must be aware not strounded in secrecy. The National Assembly who are oversighting us those who are representing the Nigeria people too let them know through you that this process was transparent and that we got the best deal for Nigerians”.

He adds, “And that is why I have directed that all of those concession should be suspended until I brief Mr. President”. 

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