Senator Adeyemi advocates N50 billion bailout fund for airline operators

Senator Adeyemi advocates N50 billion bailout fund for airline operators

Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi), has asked the federal government to provide a rescue fund of N50 billion for airline operators in the country.

Adeyemi, who is chairman of the Senate Aviation Committee, made the call at a press conference in Abuja on Monday.

Adeyemi, who raised the alarm that it was no longer safe to fly with Nigerian Airlines, noted that airline operators in Nigeria were managing and taking shortcuts in their operations due to the challenges inherent in their operations.

“In particular, we had interactions with airline operators and some important factors came to light.

“In fact, it will require executive orders that must be followed.”

He said that although the federal government had provided a N4 billion bailout for the operators, however, he said the bailout needed to be reviewed to keep the planes in business and ensure the safety of passengers.

“With additional and more critical intervention with the airline operators in Nigeria, we gather that approximately N50 billion will be needed to meet the requirements of the airline operators.

“This increase in the surety fund is imperative if we want to keep our economy running, guarantee job security and mitigate downsizing.

“A critical look at the aviation industry in Africa, Senagal, for example, which is not in competition for the Nigerian aviation industry in terms of the number of airline operators, released a sum of 74 million dollars as rescue funds for your airline operators.

“Rwanda also released 150 million dollars for its airline operators.

“By taking out the reach of Africa, the United States, for example, released a sum of 58 billion dollars as rescue funds for its airline operators.

“Based on the comparative analysis, it is clear that the 4 billion naira announced by the Federal Government as rescue funds for airline operators will not be enough to support three of the needs of the 15 scheduled flight operators, except for the no scheduled operators, ”Adeyemi said.

He listed some of the challenges currently facing airline operators, such as the Nigerian Customs failure to comply with the executive order to exempt from any form of import duties on spare parts and commercial aircraft.

Others are multiple forms of persistence of taxes on airplanes and non-compliance with the executive order on the elimination of the value added tax (VAT) on air transport.

He also mentioned the inability of airline operators to access single-digit loans that can be obtained in other parts of the world.

Adeyemi said the inability of airline operators to access foreign exchange in a timely manner to allow them to pay the value added tax on their aircraft was a challenge.

He said the committee’s investigation indicated that airline operators were already discouraged and have resorted to shortcuts to meet maintenance requirements for their planes.

This, Adeyemi said, was the result of her poor financial situation.

“If this is not proven immediately, it is better not to imagine the effect.

“Let us note that no amount of money is worth the life of a Nigerian and it is in this note that we draw the immediate and urgent attention of the Federal Government to the need to increase rescue funds for airline operators.

“As Legislatures, we strongly recommend that the Nigerian Government run a tax-free and VAT-free process for all spare parts and commercial aircraft imported into Nigeria.

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