President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to carry out an audit of the aviation sector, to rid it of corrupt officials who are said to have constituted an obstacle to the development of the sector.

This was contained in a statement by the chairman of Arik Air, Sir Joseph Arumemi Ikhide who said that unless such forensic audit is carried out, issues relatingto the growth and development of the aviation sector would not be adequately addressed.

He pointedly accused officials of the Ministry of Aviation of undermining the growth and development of the sector especially as it affects airline policy and bilateral air services agreement which they negotiated against national interest.

He spoke at the 2015 breakfast meeting of Aviation Roundtable in Lagos with the theme entitled: “Ownership, funding and sustainability of Nigerian airlines – A perennial challenge.”

This is the first time the Arik Air chairman will lead discussions on the challenges facing domestic carriers.

Arumemi said he has nothing against the proposed national carrier if government could create a level playing field to protect indigenous airlines.

He faulted the inclusion of the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Mukthar Usman, as member of the committee on national carrier set up by government, saying his membership could skew the entire process

He said: “ Buhari should do a forensic audit of aviation industry to eliminate corruption .

“The major problem of the sector is aviation ministry officials. They are corrupt and constitute a huge obstacle to the development of the sector. They are the obstacles on our way.”