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Nigeria Air: We did not flout any law – Ethiopian Airlines

Ethiopian Airlines has said the airline has already acquired three aircraft for the botched Nigeria Air project, and that it is ready to continue with the process.

Group Chief Commercial Officer (GCCO), Lemma Yadecha Gudeta, stated this amidst revelations by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, that the process for the establishment of the airline was fraught with irregularities.

Keyamo also recently revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is already probing the circumstances surrounding the airline after the outcry that trailed the launch of the carrier days before the end of Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Speaking with select Nigerian journalists in Addis Ababa, Gudeta said everything the airline did with regard to Nigeria Air was in line with Nigerian law, adding that the airline is awaiting the outcome of ongoing investigations.

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He stated that having invested in the project with the acquisition of three aircraft, it was ready to continue with the project.

“We were invited by the national government of Nigeria; we passed through the proper bid evaluation and we were chosen as a preferred bidder at a time. We spent a lot of money on the Nigeria Air project. And we even went to the level of acquiring three Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

“We have already paid and entered into a contract, there is no option for us to take on those airplanes.

“One of the aircraft has already arrived and the second one will arrive today or tomorrow (last Thursday or Friday) and the third one will follow later.

“Ethiopian Airlines is a very reputable carrier and we are a company that knows what it does. We were invited by the Nigerian Government and we replied to the call of the government. We were awarded the bid and we strongly believed that whatever we did was according to the law of Nigeria.

“Initially, we were advised that the entire process would be further investigated and we were waiting to get a reply from the Nigerian Government on their findings of the process. Since we didn’t see any wrong with it, we are confident that the Nigerian Government would let us continue the project as soon as possible.

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