NG Eagle: Aviation workers seeks presidential intervention, carpets Sirika over national carrier

Controversies continue to bug the proposed NG Eagle airline expected to be launch by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) soon as the aviation workers under the umbrella of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) Wednesday called on the Presidency to wade into the frictions that currently bedeviled the issuance of the Air Operators Certificate to the airline by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The workers fingered the camp of the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika over the ongoing brouhaha as they alleged that the birth of the NG Eagle might signal the death of the proposed national carrier project of Senator Hadi Sirika.

NUATE General Secretary, Mr. Ochema Aba, told journalists on Wednesday in Lagos that the “Presidency which is the apex of the Executive Arm of Government to wade in over this serious malady in order to avert a major mishap in the aviation sector.”

“In particular, NUATE hereby calls on the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Chief of Staff to the President (CoS) to urgently intervene in these matters and facilitate an immediate cease fire and chart a path to progress on the sensitive issues.”

The duo of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the FAAN Branch of Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) recently urged the NCAA not to issue AOC to start-up airline, NG Eagle.

Their fears was premised on the fact that should Arik Air be allowed to transform itself to NG Eagle, it will enable Arik Air escape its estimated N 30 Billion indebtedness to FAAN and other aviation Agencies.

They also insinuated that AMCON, the Receiver Manager of Arik Air, was using the assets of the Airline to float NG Eagle.

Also, the National Assembly House Committee on Aviation had directed the NCAA to withhold issuance of AOC to NG Eagle.

Aba disclosed that “Information available to NUATE however, suggests that the issue of indebtedness of Arik Air to FAAN and the NCAA is only a smokescreen. It is understood that the real issue is the politics of a new national carrier.

“Indications are that there is the fear on the side of the Minister of Aviation that AMCON has positioned its new airline, NG Eagle, to metamorphose into a national carrier, whereas the Honourable Minister has been laboring for the past six years to create one which he has named Nigeria Eagle.”