Comrade Aba Ocheme, the General Secretary, National Union of Aviation Employees (NUATE), has solicited for modalities towards the application of N500 billion announced by Federal Government to help businesses affected by COVID -19 pandemic.
He said though the aviation sector was yet to get any tranche of the promised funds to assist airlines, ground handling firms and other players in the aviation, the injection of funds would assist operators cope with the economic devastation occasioned by the pandemic.
Describing the aviation sector as worst hit, he said further delays in offering intervention to players in the industry had culminated in many aviation groups remaining in dire straits.
In an interview in Lagos, Ocheme said though the promised funds were intended to achieve continuity of business, employment and continuity of income for employees, uncertainty is, however, beclouding the modalities for the application of the funds.
To avoid any drift in strategy, aviation unions, he said had drawn the government’s attention to recommendation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in partnership with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) on how to drive implementation of intervention funds for impacted sectors of the economy, including the aviation sector.
Ocheme said the government could achieve seamless implementation of intervention funds by recognising aviation as a public good that warrants strong government regulation and oversight planning, investment and public ownership.
“The government should establish national and tripartite aviation bodies of labour, government and employer representatives to develop strategies, coordinate investment and financial responses, plan the supply of labour and oversee all aviation operations.”