Nigeria: Controversy Rages Over U.S.$10 Million Airline Bailout

nigeria controversy rages over u s 10 million airline bailout

Lagos — There is a raging controversy over the approved disbursement of the N4 billion bailout for airline operators to reduce the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been views on what the N4bn can do to the operations of airlines. Daily Trust also learnt that there are moves to exclude some government-backed airlines.

How adequate?

Nigeria has 33 airlines with Air Operator’s Certificates (AOC). Nine are scheduled airlines while 24 are non-scheduled carriers.

If the N4bn would be shared among the airlines, it means each carrier would be entitled to over N121 million, analysis shows.

However, there is a growing demand that priority should be given to bigger airlines whose operations were largely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An airline operator said, “I can tell you airlines may soon collapse without any form of support from the government. Certainly, N4bn is too little to do anything.

“We submitted an application in June. Government has been promising us yet we don’t know when this help would come. Again, we are concerned about what the N4bn would do for us. Is it to acquire aircraft which I’m sure is not enough to buy one aircraft? Or is it for salary payment?”

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