Former Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika clarified that the unveiling of Nigeria Air was initiated by the national carrier’s shareholders, not by the federal government.
Sirika offered this clarification during his appearance on Arise TV on Sunday.
In a bid to clarify the circumstances around the unveiling, Sirika emphasized, “It is their own marketing strategy as equity partners that they came to do this unveiling on a special allowance which is called chartered flight. Chartered does not mean they paid for it. If there is anybody that paid for it, it would have been the Ethiopian Airline. No penny is paid,” he said.
The former minister when asked to state how much was spent for the trip said no dime was spent on the exercise.
Sirika said the unveiling with the ET-registered aircraft was a marketing strategy adopted by the shareholders of the airline and not his decision, adding he was only invited to partake in the unveiling, which was held at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
He also said only N5bn was budgeted for the national carrier since 2016 when the project started.
He said out of the N5bn, only N3bn was released which was utilised for transaction advisory services, consultancy services, the process of getting the Air Operator’s Service (AOC), office accommodation in Abuja and salaries of staff.