Monday, 27 July 2020

FG lifts ban on airline that flew Naira Marley during lockdown

The federal government has lifted the ban placed on the Executive Jets Services following months of COVID-19 lockdown.

The private airline was suspended indefinitely by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, for violating the licence given to it to operate a flight from Lagos to Abuja and back to Lagos.

The company had conveyed musician, Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, and ex-BB Naija housemate, Kim Oprah, to Abuja for a concert.

The flight at the time was approved for a different purpose – to convey a serving judge from Lagos to Abuja and back, on official assignment.

Speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Monday, the aviation minister said the ministry decided to lift the ban following the compliance of the airline with sanctions imposed on it.

“Today, we lifted the ban on Executive Jets Air Services Limited. They have complied substantially with all of our imposed sanctions.

“They have paid parts of the fine and they have brought out a payment plan for the balance. So, we lifted the ban and they will continue to do their business. These kind of things are not punitive, they are things to make our industry work better and keep all of you safe,” he said

The minister also said that he has not received the report of the investigation into alleged violations of the COVID-19 protocols by dignitaries.

Many Nigerian elites including presidential aides are believed to have violated the ban on air travels using private and official planes.

“As to the VIP offenders which are undergoing investigation, the report will be on my desk this week hopefully and we will keep you posted,” the minister said.

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