Aviation Experts Criticize FG for Budgeting N8.5bn for Suspended National Carrier
Industry experts have severally criticised the federal government for budgeting N8.5 billion for the planned national carrier, which was suspended indefinitely in October last year.
More investigations disclosed that there was no indication that the suspension of the plan to establish a national carrier would be lifted before or after the February election.
But through findings showed that during the plan to establish the national carrier, the federal government made fiscal commitments, which it intends to honour, hence the budget of the aforementioned, as N500 million was already earmarked for the payment of Transaction Advisers engaged in establishing the national airline.
Multiple sources told reporters that the fund earmarked for the national airline might be a rehash of the 2018 budget in the 2019 because it showed nothing had changed and the new estimate did not seem to take congnisance of the indefinite suspension clamped on the project.
One of the sources said, “I think the budget was the work done in 2018. The government already had the commitment to pay the Transaction Advisers.
“They might have been given half payment and if you recall during the stakeholders meeting in November last year, the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika said commitments were made and those commitments would be honoured. So those funds would be put to honour those commitments.”
The insider, who is a top official of the Ministry of Transportation, told THISDAY that the estimated fund in the budget is not even enough to buy couple of airplanes; unless the money is meant to be used to establish offices for the planned carrier.
Also industry experts under the aegis of Aviation Round Table (ART) have condemned the federal government for earmarking the money in the 2019 budget.