By Wole Shadare
THE Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi, has shelved her plan to bar foreign airlines today from the country’s airspace.
In a statement by his media assistant, Joe Obi, the minister said that her ministry would allow the National Assembly’s investigation to take its full course.
He said: “The proposed ban of all airlines that fail to restore fare parity has been put on hold in the interim in deference to the ongoing intervention effort of the Senate and the National Assembly.”
According to her, “Action in this regard will be determined at the conclusion of the Senate investigation in order not to prejudice the outcome of the committee report as well as accord due respect and recognition to the current effort of the National Assembly at resolving the issues in the best interest of the nation.”
Aviation analysts, however, reasoned that the recent action by the ministry appeared to be a face-saving measure as the National Assembly had concluded its investigation into the issue of air fare disparity.
On March 26, 2012 a 30-day ultimatum was issued to all foreign airlines operating in Nigeria to stop their fare disparity within the West African Coast or face a ban from operating into the Nigerian airspace. That ultimatum expired today.
Stella Oduah-Ogiewonyi stated that ever since the ultimatum was issued, a lot of developments had occurred, stressing that there had been negotiations between the Nigerian and British authorities.
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