COVID-19: FG approves N5bn bailout funds for airlines, others
The Federal Government has approved the sum of N5 billion as a bailout for airline operators and other business owners in the aviation sector to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the country’s aviation industry.
Hadi Sirika, the minister of Aviation made the announcement on Monday, explaining that the sum of N4 billion has been approved as a bailout for airline operators and an additional N1 billion for other business owners in the aviation sector.
Sirika says the government’s decision to offer the bailout is based on recognition of the pivotal role of the aviation sector to the Nigerian economy.
Sirika disclosed this while he appeared at the Senate for a public hearing in respect of the repeal and the reenactment of the laws establishing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The announcement by the minister came after the Senate Committee on Aviation called on the Federal government to bail out airlines to cushion the effect of COVID-19.
However, Senator Smart Adeyemi, the chairman of the Senate committee on aviation, said the amount for the proposed bailout is inadequate for airlines who are battling to survive.