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Airline operators lament non-payment of N27b palliative

Some airline operators in Nigeria say they are yet to get their share of the Federal Government N27billion palliative to the aviation industry.

The Federal Government last year announced a bailout of N27billion to the industry to cushion the effects of the pandemic on the operations in the sector.

So far, N5 billion has been released and shared among some airlines, travel agencies, ground handling companies, and car hire services among others.

In an interview with some of the operators yet to benefit from the palliative, they alleged that the entire disbursement of the funds was shrouded in secrecy, adding that their many efforts to get the palliative through the Ministry of Aviation had failed.

The yet to benefit stakeholders are asking why the balance N22billion were yet to be released.

Chairman of an airline, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia says, he submitted all the necessary documents to the Ministry of aviation including account details as requested but till date, nothing had been heard three months after the commencement of disbursement of the palliative.

“The whole thing is a mirage. I don’t know what is going on. I have not received. There are some people who have received?My office submitted the necessary documents. I am a member of AON”.

Managing Director of another airline, Captain Abdullahi Mahmood said, all documents were submitted last year but because of some errors in the account details, they could not get the money.

He explained that though, that had since been rectified last year, till date there had been no communication between them and the Ministries of aviation and finance regarding the funds.

Also narrating his predicament, an helicopter operator, Mr. Femi Adeniji said, he was yet to settle staff salaries which the palliative was meant to take care of.

“Even up to last Friday, I still called them to find out what is going on. Unfortunately, I was in the US when my company’s name was published as among those who will receive the palliative, but we have not gotten anything up until now”.

“They said they were going to give it to us, salaries are still being owed, staff are complaining. If they say they are going to give us, let them give us. They should not put it in the newspapers and nothing happens thereafter”.

They appealed to the national assembly to weigh into the matter to ensure the quick release of their palliative.

Nosa Aituamen

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