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Airline operators attack FG for withholding N27bn industry bailout fund

Almost a year after the Federal Government (FG) promised financial bailout to airline operators to the tune of 27 billion naira to cushion the effect the COVID-19 pandemic, some airline operators  are yet to receive anything from the fund.

According to airline sources, about N5 billion has been released and shared among some airlines, travel agencies, ground handling companies, and car hire services among others.

However, some of the operators said they are yet to benefit from the palliative. They alleged that the entire disbursement of the funds was shrouded in secrecy, adding that their efforts to get the palliative through the Ministry of Aviation had failed.

The affected operators are asking why the balance of N22billion was yet to be released.

Chairman of an airline, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia Chief Executive Officer at West Link Airlines  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,  Managing Director at Aero Contractors of Nigeria Ltd

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.

 

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