Some Nigerian Airlines

Lawmakers request N50bn bailout for Nigerian airlines to avert further crisis

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Nigeria’s aviation sector needs about N50billion to minimise the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation stated this in view of the N4billion proposed by the Federal Government, describing the bailout as ‘grossly inadequate’.

The Committee, which addressed journalists Monday, November 23, in Abuja, FCT, explained that other countries were providing far higher bailouts to the aviation industry.

Hon. Nnolim Nnaji, Chairman of House Committee on Aviation, said the just concluded public hearing on the amendment bills for the review of some aspects of the civil aviation Acts had brought to the fore “the impending crisis in the aviation industry which require urgent attention.”

Alleging what he described as over-regulation of domestic airlines, the committee decried inadequate night landing facilities in most of the country’s airports, thereby affecting the operating flight hours daily.

Nnaji said: “As a parliament, we are going to look into these demands and, more especially, to find out why the Nigeria Customs Service would not respect the President’s Executive Order on duty exemption and other palliatives meant to lighten the burdens of the airlines.

“The multiple entries for foreign airlines are equally an important concern raised by the operators which must be looked into.

“The aviation sector requires huge capital for infrastructural development.”

The lawmaker stated that “the Federal Government’s N4billion bailout to the airlines and some palliatives to the agencies (not yet released) is too small.

“The airlines need at least N50bn bailout funds to cushion the coronavirus effect.

“We are requesting that other mechanisms should be introduced as a support to avert the collapse of the aviation sector.”

ConsumerConnect reports the Senate Monday also warned that travelling by air is now very risky, and dangerous as a result of the poor state of aircraft being used to convey passengers by the airline operators.

The Senate Committee on Aviation specifically raised the alarm after reviewing the views expressed by stakeholders during its recent public hearing it held on the six bills meant to reform the aviation sector.

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