Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika says next week, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will announce the amount allocated as palliatives to the aviation industry.
The palliative according to the Minister was to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
Sen. Sirika who announced this at a media briefing after the airport simulation exercise in Lagos ahead of restart of the industry said all stakeholders from airlines food vendors, ground handlers, car hire and others would all be beneficiaries of the government financial assistance.
The Minister stated that the palliatives may not necessarily be cash as everyone expected but there were means this would be achieved to alleviate the hardship stakeholders have faced due to the pandemic.
“All of the businesses in Civil Aviation have lost tremendous amount of income, almost all of them are not able to pay salaries, the airlines cannot pay salaries because there is no business, shops are closed, very huge economic challenge, government in its wisdom is putting something together to help the entire Industry.”
In the area of aircraft safety, the aviation minister stressed that all technical issues have been carefully handled from the aircraft to the pilots, engineers, crew, air traffic controllers to ensure they are compliant in the area of proficiency, airworthiness to ensure flight safety.
Sen. Sirika said there was no room for error in civil aviation and as such everything must be done in line with standards and recommended practices and the health protocols by the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
One of the airline operators, Mr Allen Onyema appealed to government to ensure that the palliatives to airlines must be geared towards retaining the jobs of thousands of Nigerians in the sector.