Aviation to benefit from N2trn economic largesse; FG extends ban

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Aviation industry

THE aviation industry will benefit from from a N2 trillion economic injection being injected into the economy by the Federal Government while the government extends the ban on flight operations in the country for four more weeks. 

The further ban, which takes effect Thursday trails a two-week suspension in an industry that has is projected to be losing nearly N21 billion monthly since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika (Left)

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Ikanade Agba, who disclosed plans for the injection noted that it was necessary to keep the industry doesn’t die. 

At at a webinar, “Citizens Dialogue Session on Government Fiscal Policy Decisions to the Fall in Oil Process and the COVID-19 Pandemic,” organised by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and in collaboration with Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Agha noted how the government was looking “to support the Aviation sector.” 

According to him, “a lot of planes are parked, and this is causing almost N21 billion (loss) monthly. We are looking at how to provide some form of bailout support to ensure that the industry doesn’t die.

“If we put all these together, including government funding, the funds we expect to get from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Industry (BoI), and other multilateral agencies as well as grants that are being received, we expect to have about N2trillion going into the economy.”

He expects that about 2 trillion naira will be raised from government funding and grants from multilateral agencies. 

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has extended its ban on air travel as it moves to strengthen the noose on its measures to contain COVID-19. 

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, disclosed the decision at a briefing, Wednesday, said it was after ‘after due consultation with experts.’

President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the shutting of all international airports in the country on March 23, for one month. The initial shut down ended on Thursday, April 23, but the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, extended it by two weeks, which ended Thursday, May 7.

According to Mustapha, after assessing the situation in the aviation industry and “based on the advice of experts, the ban on all flights will be extended for an additional four weeks.”

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