- British operator, Flairjet, have been fined N1million by the Nigerian government for operating during the lockdown
- Flairjet were found to have violated Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations prompting the fine
- Nigeria's minister of aviation had earlier announced that Flairjet was caught making illegal commercial operations in the country
The federal government has imposed a fine of N1million on a United Kingdom aircraft impounded last week for undertaking illegal commercial operations in Nigeria during the COVID-19 lockdown.
This was disclosed by the minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, via micro-blogging site, Twitter.
The impounded aircraft and detained crew of British operator, Flairjet, were found to have violated Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.
Sirika, a trained pilot and former senator from Katsina state, said the maximum penalty for each of the infractions was N500,000, totalling N1 million.
His words: “We caused them to pay and reported their callous misdemeanor to United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA), MFA and the UK High Commission.”
The minister had earlier announced that Flairjet was caught making illegal commercial operations in Nigeria, after being given permission to carry out humanitarian services which were only allowed after the airspace was shut to commercial services.
The government had earlier shut Nigerian airports to non-essential flights.
“Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably, we caught them conducting commercial flights.
“This is callous. The aircraft is impounded, the crew being interrogated. “There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!” he tweeted.
After the arrest, the crew were quarantined for 14 days while the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) conducted an investigation on the infraction.
Meanwhile, the federal government of Nigeria’s $1 billion suit against oil giants Shell and Eni over the controversial Malabu deal cannot go ahead in England.
This was the verdict of a London judge on Friday, May 22 as Judge Christopher Butcher said the court does not have jurisdiction to hear the claim.
In his written decision, the judge said that the English case has both the same essential facts and parties as parallel proceedings in Italy both brought by the Nigerian government over the controversial Malabu deal.
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