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COVID-19: Aviation Minister, Sirika clears air on demanding bribes before approving flights

Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has denied asking or receiving a bribe to approve flights.

Sirika, speaking at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 daily briefing on Monday, dared anyone who has evidence to prove otherwise to come forward.

According to him, the clarification became necessary, after rumours on social media that the Ministry is taking money from airlines.

Sirika also insisted that flight approval is free.

“I’ve been minister for five years now and I challenge anybody before all of these cameras.

“There’s not a single aviation business man or woman owning an aeroplane or any airline or doing any kind of business, catering, taxi, hotel, whatever it is, any business whatsoever within the aviation industry, or any permanent secretary, director or any civil servant or any public servant or whatsoever that has given me or I asked, who he offered, or I take any money and I challenge anybody today,” he said.

On Monday, PTF advised the aviation industry to develop protocols for resumption of domestic flights. 

This is ahead of a possible resumption of flights on June 21.

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