The Minster of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, said that the Federal Government has approved N4 billion as bailout funds for airlines to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the country’s aviation industry.
Appearing before the Senate Committee on Aviation on Monday, Sirika noted that most of the airlines are having challenges paying workers’ salaries.
He appeared before the panel in respect of a public hearing on 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).
He said the aviation sector is key to the development of any country in the world.
However, Chairman of the committee, Smart Adeyemi, said the amount approved for the airlines was too little.
“N4 billion is very little to solve some of the problems of the airlines who are battling to survive. We urge the government to take charge of the sector.
“They need to give them more and they also need to support in all ways. The airlines are in business but we cannot continue to look at them without offering them assistance.
“I am not comparing Nigeria with the United States, but I think we can do better than the N4 billion we are assisting them with,” he said.
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