The Nigerian government has approved N4 billion Naira bailout fund for domestic airlines to cushion the effects of covid-19 pandemic on the aviation sector.
This was disclosed on Monday in Abuja by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika. He also revealed that the domestic airlines are owning Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, about N19.3 billion naira non-remitted TSC money collected from passengers on behalf of NCAA.
Sirika also said that the Federal Government approved additional N1b for aviation agencies to also ” cushion the sorry state of most of them which has made payment of salaries difficult for many of them”. He added that the funds will soon be released to both the airlines and the agencies.
However, the Senate Committee on Aviation chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi said the approved amount is small and urged the government to increase the amount.
Adeyemi said: “N4b is very little to solve some of the problems of the airlines who are battling to survive. We urge the government to take charge of the sector. They need to give them more and they also need to support in all ways”.
“Yes, the airlines are in business but we cannot continue to look at them without offering them assistance. I am not comparing Nigeria with the United States, but I think we can do better than the N4b we are assisting them with”.