Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation

COVID-19: Nigeria okays N5bn lifeline for airline operators, others

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

In a decisive step to lessen the devastating effects of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Nigeria’s aviation industry, the Federal Government has approved N5billion as a bailout for airline operators and other business owners in the aviation sector of the economy.

Hadi Sirika, Honourable Minister for Aviation, who made the announcement Monday, November 2, 2020, at a public hearing in the Senate, said a sum of N4billion had been approved as a bailout for airline operators, and additional N1billion for other business owners in the aviation industry in the economy.

Sirika had appeared at the Senate for a public hearing in respect of the repeal and the reenactment of the laws establishing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The government’s decision to offer the bailout is based on recognition of the pivotal role of the aviation sector to the Nigerian economy, said the Minister.

The Minister’s recent announcement comes after the Senate Committee on Aviation urged the government to bail out airlines to cushion the adverse effects of COVID-19 on the critical aviation sector.

Senator Smart Adeyemi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, however, stated that the amount earmarked for the proposed bailout is inadequate for airlines that are battling to survive in the country.

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