The Federal Government is ready to provide reasons why it suspended the planned commencement of operations of Nigeria Air.
The government said it has become necessary to address some of the issues, misinformation and allegations that greeted the announcement of the suspension of the national carrier project.
The Aviation arm of the Federal Ministry of Transportation on Monday announced that it would address the issues at a forum coming up later this month in order to keep the public well informed on the status of the proposed national carrier before it was suspended.
The Federal Government on September 19, 2018, announced the suspension of the planned commencement of operations of Nigeria Air.
It gave no reason for the suspension of the project, after it had announced in July that Nigeria Air would commence operation before the end of this year.
“I regret to announce that the Federal Executive Council has taken the tough decision to suspend the national carrier project in the interim. All commitments due will be honoured. We thank the public for the support as always,” the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had announced via a tweet last month.
In reaction to widespread criticisms that greeted the announcement, the ministry on Monday stated that it was now set to address all the concerns.
The Deputy Director, Media and Public Affairs, FMT (Aviation), James Odaudu, said in a statement, “The Federal Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) has noted the plethora of opinions, comments and observations by stakeholders in the aviation sector, and members of the public in the electronic, print and social media following the recent suspension of the processes leading to the establishment of a national carrier by the Federal Government.
“In view of the general excitement generated earlier by the prospect of a new national airline coming on stream soon and the massive reaction by members of the public in the wake of its recent suspension, it has become necessary to address some of the issues, misinformation, allegations and opinions trending in the media in order to keep the public well informed on the status of the proposed national carrier prior to the suspension.”
According to Odaudu, the aviation minister had decided to invite stakeholders and members of the public to a forum to hold in Abuja later this month.
Commenting, Sirika said the interactive forum would enable the ministry, stakeholders and interested members of the public to adequately address all issues associated with the national carrier project.
The ministry also stated that other issues in the aviation road map would also engage the proposed forum.
He stated that airline operators, regulators in the aviation sector, prospective investors, the media, labour unions, aviation service providers, officials of the ministry and its agencies, and interested members of the public would participate in the forum.
On July 18 this year, the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for Nigeria Air and stated that the carrier would be inaugurated at the end of the year.
Sirika unveiled the proposed carrier’s branding and livery at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London, United Kingdom.
“I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier that is a global player, compliant with international safety standards and one which has the customer at its heart,” Sirika had stated then.