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Last Updated: Monday, 24 November, 2003, 11:33 GMT
Nigeria seeks lost airways money
Nigeria Airways aircraft
Nigeria Airways aircraft have been seized by creditors
Nigeria has demanded the return of some $400m, which it says has gone missing from the state-owned Nigeria Airways.

Details of a 18-month-old report into alleged corruption at the firm were made public in a white paper.

Those ordered to return money include two ex-ministers and former officials. One minister allegedly sold two planes without authorisation.

After years of financial problems, the company went into liquidation in May with debts of $60m.

Property sell-off

Travel agencies and insurance firms were also featured in the report.

President Olusegun Obasanjo set up the inquiry in 2001 into the activities of the airline between 1983 and 1999.

The report was presented in May 2002 but the BBC's Sola Odunfa in Lagos says the president came under political pressure to reduce the scale of the sanctions or to protect some of those involved.

The commission investigated decisions by the top management, including the sale of Nigeria Airways House in London, reportedly for half of its value.

The inquiry recommended that some employees should be banned from public office for 10 years.

Transparency International, which campaigns against corruption, rates Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in the world after Bangladesh.

A new airline will be set up next month to replace Nigerian Airways, say reports.

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