The Department of State Services (DSS) has asked the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to come in for questioning about the launch of Nigeria Air, the national carrier, News About Nigeria reports.
Sirika arrived at the DSS headquarters in Abuja for the interrogation on Thursday at around 3 pm, driving a Range Rover SUV.
According to a security source, Hadi Sirika was invited by the DSS to answer some questions. They are currently asking him about the issues surrounding the launch of the carrier.
You might remember that in May, during the time of President Muhammadu Buhari, they introduced a Boeing 737-800 aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines as Nigeria Air.
Afterward, the acting Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Captain Dapo Olumide, made some claims. He said the plane was more than 10 years old and actually belonged to Ethiopian Airlines, among other things.
The anti-graft agency, EFCC then summoned Hadi Sirika, to address inquiries on the alleged utilization of ₦3 billion on the airline venture.
Sirika had clarified on a national television program that the federal government had expended less than ₦3 billion on the Nigeria Air project thus far.
He disclosed that out of ₦5 billion budgeted for Nigeria Air in seven years, only ₦3 billion was released.
Most funds went to consultancies and salaries. He refuted the claim of ₦85 billion spent on the project.
The total market value for Nigeria Air is $200 million, with Ethiopian Airlines (49%), MRS (31%), SAHCO (15%), and the Nigerian government (5%) as shareholders.
No shareholders were paid during the agreement signing. Government expenses count as 5% equity. Nigeria Air won’t get special tax privileges.