The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has summoned the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, to appear before it on June 5 to explain the controversy surrounding the unveiling of Nigeria Air by the ministry.
The government had, in Friday, unveiled the long-awaited Nigeria Air amidst protests by some stakeholders in the industry.
Many had alleged that Ethiopian Airline, which is the preferred bidders to manage Nigeria Air, had repainted and rebranded one of its Boeing 737-800 aircraft which reportedly cost Nigeria N139.3 billion ($300 million).
In an invitation letter with reference number NASS/9/HR17/120 and dated May 30, 2023, by its Clerk, Basset Eden, the committee directed the permanent secretary to appear before it yesterday alongside all individuals/agencies connected to the project.
Sources said the permanent secretary requested for additional time, hence it the meeting was shifted to June 6.
The letter reads: “Last Friday, May 26, 2023, the nation was awash with viral reports and videos of the unveiling of the Nigeria Air project under very controversial circumstances.
“As a committee of the parliament saddled with the responsibility of oversighting the Aviation sector of the economy, we deem it necessary to be fully briefed about the project.
“Consequently, I am directed to invite you to an emergency session with the committee on Thursday, June 1, 2023. You are to come with all individuals/agencies connected to the project.”
The request for time, according to the source, was meant to enable him to assemble all necessary documents and individuals connected with the project.
Meribole was asked to provide full business case (FBC), as prepared by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and full disclosure on the ownership structure of Nigeria Air, including equity contributions by individuals, organisations and consortium, outlining each contributions, names, addresses, phone numbers and their businesses’ registration certificates.
The permanent secretary is also to furnish the committee with all Private, Public Partnership (PPP) agreements reached and signed with Ethiopian Airlines on the project; all Private Public Partnership agreements reached and signed with other parties with stakes in Nigeria Air; all documents, permits, and receipts relevant to the subject matter; shareholders’ agreements, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) agreement and any other documents that will assist the committee in this assignment. (Nation)