The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has condemned the decision by the Federal Government to engage the services of foreign airlines to evacuate Nigerians abroad when there are Nigerian carriers that have the capacity to do that.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of the committee, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji, who called on the Federal Government to revert to capable indigenous operators to carry out the evacuation exercise.
Nnaji frowned on the engagement of foreign airlines like Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways and Emirates to airlift stranded Nigerians from Dubai, London and America by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.
The lawmaker called for the immediate cancellation of the contracts and the reversal to the capable domestic operators, noting that America and Britain recently evacuated their citizens from Nigerian without the use of other countries’ carriers.
“The action of those responsible for this action is not only a disservice to the local airlines which have done their best to provide patriotic service to Nigerians, but equally detrimental to our national pride and dignity,” Nnaji said, urging the Aviation Minister to revoke the landing rights already granted the three airlines.
According to a schedule released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry the first batch of evacuees of 265 from Dubai would arrive Nigeria Wednesday, May 6, 2020, another 300 are to arrive from London on Friday, May 10 on British Airways and on Monday, 11th May, Ethiopian Airline will airlift those coming from United States of America.
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