Former Minister of Aviation and Aerospace, Sen. Hadi Sirika has revealed that less than N3 billion was spent on Nigeria Air.
Sirika made this statement during a live-streamed interview on the Arise TV programme over the weekend.
He emphasised that the budget allocated for Nigeria Air from 2016 to 2023 was N5 billion, but only N3 billion was released and, as of today, the entire amount has not been utilised.
“The Nigerian government did not pay a single kobo for the unveiling of Nigeria Air on Friday, May 26, 2023. It is absurd to think that we would spend N138 billion to lease and paint an aircraft when we could purchase 5 new Boeing 777max,” he stated.
Continuing, Sirika alleged that the former House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, requested a 5 per cent share of the Nigerian Air project.
“The House committee chairman on aviation asked for 5 per cent of Nigeria Air for himself and his associates. I advised him to approach the airline’s owners. This is the same thing the people from Air Peace want, for Hadi Sirika to hand over Air Nigeria to them,” he added.
Sirika urged the public to seek the Ministry of Information’s assistance in obtaining the right to information to verify the facts for themselves.
He also revealed that former President Olusegun Obasanjo handed over Nigeria Airways to his friend’s company, Arik Air, which now owes over N300 billion, with Nigerian taxpayers’ money amounting to N250 billion via AMCON. Therefore, the question arises “should we hand it over to Arik Air?”