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FG approves N5bn bailout for aviation sector

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Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said on Monday the Federal Government had approved a N5 billion bailout to players in the nation’s aviation sector.

The minister, who disclosed this at the opening of a three-day public hearing on the six executive bills put together by the government to reorganise the civil aviation agencies in the country, said the airline operators would get N4billion while other businesses in the sector would receive N1billion.

He said: “The federal government has approved N4bn as a bailout for the airlines and N1billion for other businesses within the civil aviation.

“We are already putting arrangements for the disbursement in place and once we start, it would be transparently done.”

But the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi, expressed doubt if the N4billion would be enough to keep the airline operators in business.

Adeyemi said: “If we really want to keep the airline operators in business, and we don’t want them to close shops and go home, the federal government should shore up the amount it wanted to give them.

“For a developing nation like Nigeria, we need to encourage airline operators to remain in business.

“The situation would be worse if we fail to support the operators and force them to cut corners.

“Let’s look at the cost of spare parts for the airlines and duties that they perform. Though, we might argue that the business is a private one, but it is centred around safety.

“The N4 billion approved for the airlines by the federal government is too little to make an impact on the operations of the airlines. ”

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