The proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air, has become a topic of contention as domestic aviation firms, represented by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), express their concerns over the rushed plans announced by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika. The airlines argue that the proposed delivery of Nigeria Air before May 29, 2023, is contemptuous and raises questions about transparency. In this blog post, we delve into the objections raised by the aviation firms and shed light on the potential implications of such a hasty implementation.
Disregard for Court Orders:
One of the primary points of contention is the minister’s insistence on moving forward with Nigeria Air despite a federal high court order that halted the sale of shares to Ethiopian Airlines. The AON emphasizes that this action is in flagrant disobedience of the court’s ruling and undermines the integrity of the legal system. By proceeding without addressing the court’s decision, the minister risks being charged with contempt of court, further raising concerns about his actions.
Questionable Timing and Certification:
Aviation stakeholders have also raised concerns about the minister’s rushed plans, considering the short time remaining in his tenure and the incomplete certification process. The AON highlights that operating an airline without completing the necessary certification and in disregard of court orders is troubling. This rushed approach may compromise the safety and efficiency standards that should be upheld in the aviation industry.
Integrity of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA):
The actions and pronouncements of the minister, according to the AON, impugn the integrity of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The group asserts that the minister’s disregard for court orders and his rushed approach may adversely affect the ratings of Nigeria’s airlines. The integrity and reputation of the regulatory body are crucial for maintaining a robust and trustworthy aviation sector.
Need for Transparency and Stakeholder Engagement:
The AON emphasizes that if there are other stakeholders involved in Nigeria Air, aside from the minister, they should come forward and engage with the public. Transparency is vital in order to address concerns, answer relevant questions, and provide clarity on the ownership and operational aspects of the national carrier. With only a few days left in his tenure, the AON argues that the responsibility of promoting Nigeria Air should extend beyond the minister alone.
Bottom line :
The rushed plans for Nigeria Air have sparked controversy within the aviation industry, with domestic aviation firms condemning the actions of the Minister of Aviation. The disregard for court orders, incomplete certification process, and lack of transparency raise significant concerns about the proposed national carrier. It is imperative that due process, adherence to court rulings, and stakeholder engagement are prioritized to ensure a credible and sustainable aviation sector in Nigeria.