LEO ALIGWO, Business Editor
Necessary measures are being imitated by the Federal Government to save the operations of domestic airlines from total collapse, the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has revealed.
Sen. Sirika strongly assured that the despite the prevailing economic recession, the airlines will not die under the watch of the parent supervisory ministry, the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
The Minister made the revelation in Lagos while fielding questions from Aviation Correspondents shortly after his joint parley with the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and aggrieves workers of Aero Contractors Services Airlines popularly known as Aero Contractors.
Consequently, the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) had Wednesday in Abuja seriously appealed to the Senate to look into their members demand for bailout fund to save from imminent death, especially under the present economic hardship which has compounded their perennial operational and administrative overhead cost.
Indeed, Sen. Sirika had ahead of AON’s visit to the Senate admitted that most of the airlines are going through turbulent times, adding that the ministry has decided to regulate the activities of the on daily basis to enable it have total grasp of the aviation industry’s plight.
Giving further insight into Aero Contractor Airlines crises, he explained that Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) is laying claims to the ownership of the airline to the tune of 80 per cent following an unspecified amount of loan it obtained from an indigenous commercial bank.
While reassuring that the airlines’ workers would not lose their jobs as a result of the ongoing crises he declared; “The Federal Government will do everything possible to save the airline from total collapse and save the workers job”.
Answering further questions, the Minister said the outstanding entitlement of the impoverished former staff of the liquidated Nigeria Airways was being computed with a view settling them as soon as possible.
He reiterated that there is no going back on the Federal Government’s decision to concession the nation’s operational aerodromes starting with four international airports at Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt in line with current trend in the global aviation industry.
In addition, he disclosed that plans were in the offing to establish a standard aviation equipment leasing company to boost the government revenue generation potential.
Sen. Also used the forum to appeal to the media to assist the Federal Government by supporting Nigeria’s interest for re-election to the post of International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO’s) President.
Nigeria’s representative and sitting ICAO president, Dr. Aliyu Bernard Myiwa, is seeking re-election to prestigious for the second time during the global aviation body conference scheduled for October this year at Montreal, Canada.