By Prince Okafor
Following the controversial unveiling of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, with an Ethiopian Airline aircraft, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has summoned the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole to an emergency meeting over the project.
The committee headed by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji directed Meribole to come along with every document and personnel connected with the national carrier.
Vanguard had reported that the Federal Government last Friday unveiled Nigeria Air to Nigeria, a development that created major uproar nationwide.
It was also gathered that Ethiopian Airline had repainted and rebranded one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft which cost Nigeria N139.3 billion ($300m) for just the painting job.
However, in an invitation memo signed by the committee clerk, Bassy Edem, dated May 30, 2023, and referenced NASS/9/HR17/120, it reads, “last Friday, the 26th of May, 2023, the nation was awash with viral reports and videos of the unveiling of the Nigeria Air project under very controversial circumstances. As a committee of the parliament saddled with the responsibility of oversighting the aviation sector of the economy, we deem it necessary to be fully briefed about the project.
“Consequently l am directed to invite you to an emergency session with the committee on Thursday, 1st of June 2023. You are to come with all individuals/agencies connected to the project.”
However, the Permanent Secretary was said to have requested for time to be able to assemble all the necessary documents and individuals connected with the project.
Tuesday 7th June has been rescheduled for the meeting based on the appeals for time by the ministry.
Details of the documents demanded in the invitation include the followings:
i. Full business case (FBC,) as prepared by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, (ICRC),
ii. Full disclosure on the ownership structure of Nigeria Air including equity contributions by individuals, organisations and Consortium outlining each contributions, names, addresses, phone numbers and their businesses’ registration certificates.
iii. All Private, Public Partnership, (PPP) agreements reached and signed with Ethiopian Airlines on the project.
iv. All Private Public Partnership agreements reached and signed with other parties with stakes in Nigeria Air
V. All documents, permits, and receipts relevant to the subject matter.
vi. Shareholders’ agreements
Vii Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, (ICRC) agreement and
Viii. Any other documents that will assist the committee in this assignment.