May 29: N139.3bn to be used to repaint Ethiopian Airlines plane and unveils it as Nigeria Airline 3 days to handover

Buhari’s government has reportedly used N139.3bn ($300m) to repaint an 11-year-old Ethiopian Airlines aircraft and presented it as Nigeria Air, the country’s national carrier.

Recall that Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation minister of aviation on Friday, May 26, 2023, tweeted celebrating the landing of Nigeria Air.

“We are here. To Almighty God be all the glory. It has been a very long, tedious, daunting and difficult path. We thank everyone for the support. This, by the will of God, will be for us and generations to come. Ya Allah make it beneficial for our country and humanity,” he tweeted.

The Boeing 737-800 series aircraft aircraft took off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at 9:55am on Friday and landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at 12:43 p.m.

He later unveiled the aircraft with registration ET-APL at the General Aviation Terminal of the Abuja airport.

The Nigeria Air is the nation’s proposed national carrier which was unveiled at the Farnborough Air Show in England on July 18, 2018.

The project was suspended two months after it was announced after critics raised concerns over its relevance and sustainability. The airline was expected to gulp $8.8 million as preliminary cost and $300 (N139.3bn) million as takeoff cost.

However, what appears to be a glorious ending to a 5-year wait for Nigerians to celebrate their own national carrier has been marred by controversies.