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Reps demand reforms in aviation sector

The House of Representatives are demanding reforms in the aviation sector, the Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila says.

The position of the lawmakers was made during a meeting with the Minister of Aviation, and operators of local airlines in the country. 

Mr Gbajabiamila who identified local terminals at Nigerian airports as critical as the gateway to any country, noted that with the level of work ongoing at the airports, the Nigeria aviation sector is bouncing back to business.

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika assured the nation that Nigeria Air ltd will commence operations by the end of December.

Adding that most of the terminals under construction will be commissioned before the end of the current administration. 

He revealed that the ministry have ordered for 20 training airlines that uses PMS saying 9 have been delivered. 

On why the country has only 5% in the Nigeria Air project, the minister explained that the ministry believes that the business will not fare well as expected if the government is involved, citing the case of the defunct Nigeria Airways.

Why Ethiopia Air is the only bidder for Nigeria Air

While responding to why Ethiopia Air was the only bidder in the process, the minister of aviation noted that single bidding was in tandem with the law and there was nothing wrong with it.

According to Sen Sirika, Nigeria Air ltd carrying the flag of Nigeria does not mean it must belong to Nigeria, adding that there was a complete misconceptions about the ownership of the carrier.

As the government owns 5% while other stakeholders hold 46% of the business totalling 51%.

Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnoli Nnaji argued that the decision to allow Ethiopians manage the Nigerian airline was wrong being that Ethiopia was a big competition.

Other lawmakers at the meeting pointed out that there was the need to tinker properly and come up with what will be of great benefit to the people and government of Nigeria. 

Spokesperson, Airlines Operators of Nigeria Roland Iyayi, observed that the partnership with Ethiopia Air was ill advised and noted that if Nigeria Airlines Limited begins operations in the hostile environment local airlines operates, it will fail.

Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu; Editing by Muzha Kucha