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COVID-19: Aviation palliatives ready soon, says Minister

T

he much awaited bailout for the aviation industry is set to be announced any time from now according to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

There are indications that the Federal Government had concluded the decision to assist the sector with $57.8 million (about N26,125,600,000).

Sirika, at a press briefing Saturday after a test flight from Abuja to Lagos to ensure everything is in place for the restart, said: “Ninety per cent of what we do in civil aviation is not seen by people like the Very High Frequency Omnidirectional Range (VOR) and other safety systems put in place but aviation is ready, I don’t want to give a timeline but when we are set to open, we open.”

On palliatives, which the airline operators have been clamouring for, the minister said in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Ministry of Finance the amount for the palliatives will be announced soon.

“Government is coming with the palliatives very soon in conjunction with the CBN and the Ministry of Finance, by next week we will come out with the amount and the palliatives will be announced within the week. Within the economic sustainability plan. It will go round the entire civil aviation industry but may not be necessarily like what people expect.”

Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 has expressed satisfaction with the handling of the test flight from Abuja ahead of the restart plan of the aviation industry stating that the industry is ready but will not give a timeline or date for restart

The coordinator PTF COVID-19, Dr. Sani Aliyu, who gave his assessment  when he arrived with the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika on an aero contractors flight from Abuja after undergoing the same process at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.

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