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Nigeria Air remains suspended — it doesn’t benefit us, says FG

‘5 years tax waiver, Ethiopian management' – Keyamo revisits suspension of Nigeria Air project ‘5 years tax waiver, Ethiopian management' – Keyamo revisits suspension of Nigeria Air project

Festus Keyamo, the minister of aviation and aerospace development, says the Nigeria Air project remains suspended.

In 2023, the ministry of aviation, under Hadi Sirika, former minister, unveiled Nigeria Air — three days before the end of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The development had elicited concerns among stakeholders nationwide over the ownership arrangement which gave Ethiopian Airlines a 49 percent equity stake.

The federal government had a 5 percent equity, while a consortium of three Nigerian investors had 46 percent.

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Reacting to the deal in June 2023, the house of representatives asked the federal government to suspend the operations of Nigeria Air, describing it as ‘a fraud’.

In August 2023, Keyamo announced that the national carrier project was suspended till further notice.

Providing updates at the ministerial press briefing in Abuja to mark Tinubu’s one year in office, Keyamo said the project is still suspended.

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“It remains suspended. It was never Air Nigeria. It was not Air Nigeria. That’s the truth. It was only painted Air Nigeria. It was Ethiopian Airlines trying to fly our flag,” he said.

“If it is so, why not allow our local people to fly our flag. Why bring a foreigner to fly our flag? So nobody should dispute that it was Air Nigeria.

“Air Nigeria must be indigenous, must be wholly Nigerian, and must be for the full benefits of Nigeria, not that 50 percent of the profit is for another country.”

Keyamo reiterated that the ownership structure of the suspended airline is not beneficial to the country.

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