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JUST IN: FG okays Lagos, Abuja for international flight resumption

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Federal Government has approved Lagos and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja airports for a resumption of international flights in the country.

It said that the airports would be opened on 29th of August, 2020 and that protocols and procedures would be announced before approved date for resumption.

This came months after the apex government like its counterparts globally shuts its airspace to prevent the continued spread of coronavirus in the country.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who made the announcement on Monday in a statement released on his official social media handle, stated that the two airports were chosen to ensure gradual reopening of international flights into and out of the country.

He said: “Glad to announce the resumption of international flights from the 29th of August, 2020. Beginning with Lagos and Abuja as we did with the domestic flight resumption. Protocols and procedures will be announced in due course. We thank you for your patience”.

The minister also revealed that the N50 billion intervention funds would be provided for airline operators and other stakeholders in the sector to cushion the effect of the pandemic.

Sirika explained that the funds would be released in two folds and would assist the stakeholders in the sector to get back to pre-coronavirus in the country.

He added that reasons for the delay were that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was still perfecting procedures for disbursement for the intervention fund.

“Intervention funds for airlines, yes, it is in two folds, there’s one through the central bank which is is a kind of loan and will be released through Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is a kind of loan to the airlines and aviation entrepreneurs including travel agencies, etc which will be given through their banks and have the procedures of taking it to know if anyone has received it.

“The whole thing is being processed. I’m not aware of anybody has received theirs and all from the government is being processed. because everything has a law to follow and due diligence is to be conducted but certainly, some kind of help is coming”, the minister added.

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