The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that no court of law in the country can stop the take-off of the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air.
The Minister said the airline project has gone too far to be truncated.
Speaking at an event organised by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to appreciate stakeholders for their cooperation during the three months shutdown of the Lagos airport domestic runway 18 left for the installation of airfield lighting, Sirika denied the knowledge of legal action by the domestic airlines against the proposed national carrier.
The minister took a swipe at the domestic airlines for taking the back seat while they were given the first choice of investing in the proposed airline. He cited how he directly spoke with the airline operators on the need for them to own shares in the proposed national carrier, an offer they rejected.
“I contacted Air Peace, Azman Air and Max Air but they turned down my invitation because it was not formal. I do not see the possibility of any court of competent jurisdiction will erect a road block to the emergence of the national carrier. I have been very transparent in the processes put in place to deliver the national carrier. If anyone wants to invest in a company, no one can stop them from investing. You can own a company 100 percent. If anyone wants to invest, why not? We want foreign direct investment,” he said.
Sirika also said that contrary to allegations by labour unions in the aviation sector, workers and union leaders were duly engaged by government at different meetings leading to formation of the national carrier. He said he went out of his way to appoint some union members to the various project committees even when there was no law that compelled him to do so.
Speaking on the rumoured plans to demolish the aviation agencies’ head offices in Lagos airport, the Minister denied such a move saying, “How I wish I could demolish them to give room for the aerotropolis project”.
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