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Recession: Senate warns of ‘imminent’ plane crashes in Nigeria

The Senate warned yesterday that if the federal government through its agencies saddled with the responsibility of managing the aviation sectors fail to take urgent steps, Nigeria as a country would likely experience plane crashes.

According to the Senate, it has become imperative to fix the ailing aviation industry, just as it said that the current monetary policy of the government was choking and crippling operators of the aviation industry.

The Senate has asked the Federal Government to prevail on the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN to insist that airlines operating in the routes of the country use the Naira as the official currency in all transactions in the aviation industry, rather than the use of foreign currencies especially the dollars.

The upper chambers has also urged the federal government to ensure that it extracts from airlines who are going to be benefiting from the government special reviews, commitments not to increase fares arbitrarily and guarantee competitive ticket pricing within the regional market indicators.
The Senate also expressed its willingness to support Federal Government’s move to intervene in the current challenges with a view to saving the traveling masses from greater hardship and reduce the ongoing suffering in the aviation sector.

The warning and resolutions of the Senate were sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Dino Melaye, APC, Kogi West and titled, “Disturbing Developments in the Nigerian Aviation Industry.”

In his contribution to the motion, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio who raised the alarm of imminent crashes, stressed that airlines operating in the country can no longer access foreign exchange used in servicing their fleet of aircraft.

Senator Akpabio who warned that some operators may start cutting corners because of their inability to access foreign exchange which would lead to endangering the lives of air travelers, stressed that many of the airlines in the country were bankrupt and dead.

According to him, many of them have either withdrawn or relocated to neighbouring countries, adding, ” These problems are caused by policies of government. Monetary policies of government have not allowed the airlines to operate.

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