‘Why Nigerian Goverment cancelled agreement with Lufthansa’
Reasons emerged, weekend, why the Federal Government cancelled its
agreement with the German airline, Lufthansa, under which the airline
enjoyed free royalty payments for flights into the country.
Sources in the Ministry of Aviation disclosed that the Minister of
Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, instigated the cancellation of the
four-year agreement upon revelations that the German airline failed to
fulfill its side of the agreement signed in November 2008.
Oduah, it was learnt, moved to cancel the agreement following the
advice from the Attorney General of the Federation that the country had
sufficient reasons to cancel the agreement upon the confirmation that
the airline had not fulfilled its pledges.
Under the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding between the
government and Deutsche Lufthansa Aktiengesellschaft (LH) Germany, the
German airline was expected to provide technical assistance to the
country besides creating a hub in Abuja in partnership with other
international airlines. The German airline was on its part expected to
benefit through additional traffic rights on concessionary basis.
Though the airline got its additional flight rights into the country
it, however, was unable to actualise its own part of the agreement.
Remarkably, the Senate Committee on Aviation had recently ordered the
Ministry of Aviation to recover N2.198bn ($14.8 million) from Lufthansa
being amount not paid by the airline since 2009 when the agreement came
What finally moved the Ministry of Aviation to terminate the
agreement, it was learnt, was a memo from the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority to the minister which detailed the failures of Lufthansa.
The memo read in part: “Having carefully analysed the submission, it
was clear that Lufthansa appeared to be the only beneficiary of the MoU
as the implementation of the agreement which was planned in phases was
yet to progress beyond the traffic rights granted to Lufthansa to
operate daily flights from Frankfurt to Abuja. There is no evidence to
show any serious commitment on the part of Lufthansa airlines to the
realization of the agreement.”
Besides NCAA, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria
which was to benefit from the agreement also made known to the minister
that only one of its personnel got the opportunity to benefit from
Lufthansa’s training programme.
Under the MOU domiciled in the United Kingdom it was learnt that both
parties agreed to waive off claims that may arise upon a mutual
agreement to cancel the agreement. (Vanguard)