Minister of State Aviation Hadi Sirika has explained that the reason National Carrier project was suspended was to allow Nigerians to have a fair share of the project.
Sirika while speaking at the 5th Aviation Stakeholders meeting on Thursday in Abuja clarified that government had only appointed transaction Advisers, saying when it is time for the Nigerian Air Project Advisers to be selected, it would be done transparently and any interested Nigerians can participate in the bid program.
According to him after a meeting held with Airbus, Boeing and some well profiled Nigeria in Washington DC, the giant aviation industries were willing to give Nigeria 30 Aircraft, 15 for start and another 15 subsequently, but they requested for a sovereign shoulder to assure them that their investment was safe.
He further explained that the USEXIM bank was also willing to provide them the needed fund but they were constrained because the number of their board members was short of one person so they can only approve $10million, however if Nigeria was able to play their politics well they would be able to get as much as the needed start up capital.
Sirika said “we could have run with that because we had a lot of investors showing interest in the Nigerian Air project but we wanted Nigerians to also benefit and partner in the project. We will soon advertize in the dailies so Nigerians should get their bank account ready so that they can partner in the Nigeria Air project
“It is not true that transaction advisers for the project were done in a hush- hush as they advertised the bid process in Nigerian dailes and also in the federal adding they also extended the date by two weeks, so we did not appoint out friends.
Sirika also debunked media publications (not in Blueprint) that $8.8million was expended at the Farnborough Airshow describing it as “unfounded, malicious, misleading, mischievous and baseless.”
“Due process was followed in the branding, which included obtaining ‘’No Objection’’ Certificate with Ref. No.BPP/RPT/18/VOL.1/075 from the Bureau of Public Procurement for the sum of N50,893,000.00. Payment for these services is yet to be made.
“Due process was followed in retaining the services of the company and Certificate of “No Objection” Ref. No. BPP / RPT/ 18/ VOL 1/095 in the sum of N40,219,769.20 was obtained. Payment to the Consultant is yet to be made
“Apart from commitments to transaction advisors, Branding and participation at the fanbrough airshow , no other expenditure has been incurred on Nigeria Air project.”, he asserted.