The federal government has yet to deliver on its promise to the aviation sector as N22 billion to support the sector remains unpaid.
The government pledged support to the sector last year by announcing a sum of 27 billion naira to help support the sector amid the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our correspondent found that only 5 billion naira had been disbursed to some stakeholders while others had not yet received funds.
Air Safety Roundtable Deputy Secretary Olumide Ohunayo, in his recent presentation to the Airport Business Summit, called for transparency in the sector.
In an interview with our correspondent, the aviation analyst said that the total amount of money allocated to the aviation sector was 27 billion naira but only 5 billion naira had been disbursed.
He said, “We have an outstanding payment of 22 billion naira. The minister said the N22bn is still with the government agency. There is a problem with keeping the sum of N22 billion for a national carrier when the objective of this money is to help these organizations.
“The idea of the fund is to save existing jobs and organizations. Many organizations are in need of these funds due to the fallout from COVID. The United States had theirs and ensured that the distribution of their funds to all organizations was fair. ”
According to him, measures have been put in place in the United States to monitor disbursements to ensure that no company pays excess money to its executives, declares insolvency or fires workers.
“In Nigeria, no one checked whether the money was disbursed correctly. Some airlines came to say that they had not received part of the money spent, ”he added.
When contacted, the Director of Public Affairs of the Federal Aviation Ministry, James Oduadu, told our correspondent that the 22 billion naira had not been returned by the federal government to the ministry.
He said the N22bn was not intended only for the national carrier, but also for other agencies under the ministry.
He said: “The N22bn has not been handed over to the ministry at all. It’s not just for the national carrier; it is also a palliative for agencies reporting to the ministry. Other agencies are supposed to recover the balance of federal government money that has not been released. ”
He noted that some of the agencies had not yet fully recovered from the impact of the pandemic.
“Agencies are still struggling to meet their obligation, especially in terms of payment of wages, allowances and others. Their income generation had not stabilized; so when they receive the palliative, it would help stabilize them, ”he added.
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