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Reps propose N50b bailout for airlines

The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has proposed a bailout of N50bn to the airlines.

The Committee Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji at a news conference said the bailout was to avert a total shut down of airlines, which he said would have severe consequences on the nation’s economy.

He stressed that if developed countries could give bailouts in billions of dollars to their airlines to cushion the impact of Coronavirus, with all the incentives at their disposal, Nigeria Airlines were suffering without help.

Mr Nnaji noted that in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, the International Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO) canvassed continued financial and regulatory support, particularly financial relief that does not increase industry debt levels through direct cash injection, credit or loans and discounts on user charges to support airlines over the restart and recovery period.

Nnaji said, regrettably, few African countries responded while Nigeria’s N4billion promise was yet to be released to the airlines.

The House Committee Chairman also took a swipe at the Nigeria Customs Service for the continued collection of import duties on commercial aircraft and spare parts despite a President Muhammadu Buhari’s executive order exempting them: as well as at the persistence imposition of value-added tax, (VAT) on the importation of aircraft and spares by Federal Inland Revenue, (FIRS).

Nosa Aituamen

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