The Federal Government of Nigeria has removed Lufthansa Consulting from the consortium earlier hired to provide transaction advisory services for the establishment of a National Air Carrier for the country.
The removal was sequel to a memo presented to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, by the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Wednesday.
Mr. Sirika, while briefing State House correspondents, said the FEC approved the substitution of Lufthansa Consulting with another company called AMG (Airline Management Group). Also, Avia Solutions GE will join the other members of the consortium to continue providing the same service.
Mr. Sirika gave two reasons why Lufthansa consulting was substituted on Wednesday.
“One, that particular member of consortium, Lufthansa Consulting, in the wisdom of the council, we felt that consulting is an appendage of the airline group and that might bring conflict of interests. Because Lufthansa themselves may want to join, partner or help in the process during the procurement phase of this transaction.
“And of course they are members of Star Alliance, members of One World and members of Sky team. Others may feel shortchanged the person advising us set up this airline which is going to be private sector driven, is a also member of an alliance which they are not part of.
“Secondly, since we appointed the transaction advisers in various aviation projects in May 2017, about six of them, five of them have gone ahead, the one for construction of airport, the one for Aeropolise and the one for MRO and so on and so forth.
”Most of them have produced the outline business cases and we are on our way to doing the full business case.
“However, Lufthansa Consulting, did not accept the offer neither have they signed any contract. They countered the offer instead. One of the conditions they gave is that we should pay them 75 per cent of the total cost, which is against our procurement law. They also wanted us to change the contract from Naira to Euro. They also wanted us to open an Escrow account in an internationally recognised bank outside the country where the money will be domiciled,” he said.
The FEC had on May 3, 2017 approved a memo submitted by Mr. Sirika seeking approval to appoint transaction advisers for the proposed national carrier and concession of the nation’s airports.
Meanwhile, the aviation minister said the government has been negotiating with the affected company for the last seven months because “what it was asking for is against Nigeria’s procurement law.”