According to the Minster of state for Aviation Hadi Sirika, operations for Nigeria Air, the country’s 11th attempt to create a national carrier airline were expected to begin in December 2018. He’d stated in one of many addresses, that unlike previously owned National carriers, Nigeria Air will be majorly owned by the private sector while the federal government owns just five percent of the airline. However, the moment the airline was unveiled in July 2018 at the Farnborough Air show, unending controversies trailed the project until it was cancelled yesterday September 9, 2018.
Industry and economic experts predicted doom for the Airline, with many analysts concluding that it is important it failed to save tax payers funds from being sunk into a white elephant project. These opinions were rebuffed by the government as it continues to give conflicting information on the airline and the percentage owned by parties involved. To show the government was not serious about this project, it allegedly paid a Bahrain based firm thousands of dollars to design the Nigeria Air logo which received the condemnation of Nigerians for its clear poor quality, and negates the constant message of the administration that Nigerians should support local industry.
Also, the equity and amount involved was shrouded in mystery. Hadi Sirika after much pressure revealed that the federal government will provide a take-off sum for the project while the shares will later be sold to the private sector which contravenes its earlier promise that the federal government will only control five percent of the project. Alas! It has failed like a pack of cards before its final implementation.
However, Hadi Sirika needs to tell Nigerians more about the failure and the amount of tax payers’ funds wasted on this goose chase, which was ostensibly carried out without doing the necessary background checks. It is not enough for the Minister to “regret to” announce its cancellation, Nigerians deserves to know the amount of resources that went into this starting from the Farnborough show. The minister has stated that all commitments due will be honoured but Nigerians need the details of this commitment.
Commitment to who? For what? And how much? The federal government while swallowing its humble pie as relating to this project must complement it witch Accountability. Nigeria Air has failed but we demand accountability.