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Just in: Aircraft from Ethiopia inscribed Nigeria Air sneaks into Abuja

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Serious confusion has engulfed the observed airplane with inscription: ‘Nigeria Air’ Friday afternoon that touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in what looks like fulfilment of assurance given by the outgoing Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika that one plane will land in Nigeria today in the name of Nigeria Air.

On why many observers are suspecting that the aircraft may have been a plane from the fleet of Ethiopian Airline hurriedly repainted to avoid shame on the Minister’s promise before Monday handover, many are still worried on what the plane was doing in the East African airport before coming to Abuja. The suspicion, according to forensic analysts is rooted on the fact that if it was to be a brand new aircraft, it would have been flown direct from the manufacturer to Nigeria, rather than being sighted parked in Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport earlier in the morning today.

Sirika NAir
Minister of State, Aviation, Capt Hadi Sirika unveiling the Nigeria Air logo designed by Bahraini firm at London Air Show

The question of what is it doing in Ethiopia before coming to Nigeria remains to be answered only by the Minister.

Recall that during the first tenure of PMB, the same Minister had rushed solely to a small Far East country (Bahrain) and spent millions of USD only to design what he described as logo for the Nigeria Air without recourse to local content Act and giving Nigerians the right of first refusal in the design contest.

As if that was not enough, the same Minister, again went alone to an Air Show in Europe and announced the readiness of the Federal Government to float a national carrier, a development which the then senior Transport Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi said he was not in the know after all.

Meanwhile, since the landing of the aircraft, the Minister, who is supposed to have welcomed it are still not sighted at the airport as at the time of filling this report. However, there were indications that there may be a short ceremony at the airport later in the evening.

There had been serious opposition to the floating of the airline due to poor disclosures surrounding the entire set up process.


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