Don’t Allow Aviation To Fail, IATA Charges Nigeria

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on Nigeria government not allow aviation sector fail.

This came after the mininster of aviation, Hardi Sirika announced the lost of N21 billion monthly since covid-19 outbreak.

The Nigerian government proposed  broad economic relief packages around N2 trillion to mitigate the devastation caused by COVID-19 .

IATA charged the government to implement a specific financial relief from the proposed relief package for aviation sector, to ensure a quick recovery.

IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Albakri proposed six (6) palliative measures including direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers, loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market by the Government or Central Bank, reduction, waiver or deferral of government-imposed taxes and fees among others.

Given the importance of air transport to Nigeria’s economy and connectivity, the government must not let aviation fail. The industry faces a liquidity crisis. Without a viable aviation sector Nigeria’s eventual recovery from COVID-19 will be longer and even more painful. Aviation-specific financial relief measures are urgently needed as a matter of survival.

“The Government should consider implementing some or all of the following relief measures:

  • Direct financial support to passenger and cargo carriers
  • Loans, loan guarantees and support for the corporate bond market by the Government or Central Bank
  • Tax relief – rebates on payroll taxes paid to date in 2020 and/or an extension of payment terms for the rest of 2020
  • Financial relief on airport and air traffic control (ATC) charges and taxes
  • Reduction, waiver or deferral of government-imposed taxes and fees
  • Foreign exchange availability

“As the aviation industry looks to restart, it is important that key regional players like Nigeria are ready and able. Aviation is a strategic pillar for social and economic development. Supporting aviation now will mean that Nigeria’s economy can pick up from where it stopped and drive forward,” said Albakri.

Air transport has ground to a halt in efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. Along with the direct impact on jobs and companies in aviation, related industries including tourism, hospitality and trade have been hit hard.  All play an essential role in creating jobs and powering economies.

Prior to the crisis, aviation contributed $1.7 billion to Nigeria’s GDP and supported 241,000 jobs. IATA estimates that the COVID-19 crisis puts 124,000 Nigerian jobs at risk and some $900 million of the country’s GDP.

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