The Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) says it was not invited to the unveiling of Nigeria Air.
Boye Oyewumi, a representative of SAHCO, spoke on Tuesday when he appeared before the house of representatives committee on aviation.
SAHCO is one of the main investors in the Nigeria Air project, holding 15 percent shares.
Hadi Sirika, former minister of aviation, unveiled Nigeria Air — the national carrier — about three days before the end of the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
According to The Cable, Oyewumi said the company read about the unveiling of the national career on the pages of newspapers and social media.
He said the unveiling process was “politically driven” and meant to “whitewash” Nigerians.
“Even as stakeholders, we were not even aware of the unveiling. We saw it in the newspapers and social media. We were not consulted,” Oyewumi said.
Oyewumi further described the unveiling as a “naming ceremony without a child being born”.
“We got an invitation to come and sign a shareholders agreement after the unveiling,” he said.
MetroBusinessNews, (MBN) had reported how the committee said the Nigeria Air project is a fraud and that the federal government should immediately suspend its operations.
At the investigative hearing, some government agencies also denied taking part in the unveiling of the national carrier.
Michael Ohiani, director-general of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), according to the Cable, said the agency was advised by the ministry of justice to stay away from the process of setting up the national carrier.
In December 2022, a federal high court in Lagos prohibited the federal government from selling the shares of Nigeria Air to Ethiopian Airlines.
Ohiani said the shareholders’ agreement has not been signed, and that negotiation is expected to resume as soon as a court injunction is lifted.
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Mohammed Oduwowo, managing director of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said the aircraft that was used for the unveiling was a chartered Ethiopian Airline which returned to the country a day later.
“We had an approval. We granted the aircraft a flight permit. It was meant to be a chartered flight from Ethiopia to Nigeria. It was a chartered flight. It went back the following day,” he said.