Nigeria’s Senate has warned of impending plane crashes in the country if the aviation industry was not fixed urgently.
The alert came on the back of a motion tagged “Disturbing Development in the Nigerian Aviation Industry” by Sen. Dino Melaye.
The Senate Minority Leader Sen. Godswill Akpabio noted that the anxiety of plane crashes was true as airlines have been unable to access foreign exchange to service their aircraft.
He also reasoned that operators may now resort to cutting corners following their lack of access to foreign exchange, which endangers the lives of air travellers.
He says operators now relocating
The former governor further stated that many airlines in the country were bankrupt ”and dead”, adding that operators had either withdrawn or relocated to neighbouring countries.
“These problems are caused by policies of government. Monetary policies of government have not allowed the airlines to operate.
“Section 14(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended says that government must ensure the security and welfare of the people.
“We are likely to have a spectre of crashes because most airlines cannot access foreign exchange to service their aircraft,” he noted.
It may lead to job loss
On his part, the Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu cautioned against the withdraw of airlines from the country’s aviation industry, stating that the development may lead to massive job losses.
“A situation whereby airlines cannot send back their money to their home countries is a disaster. Competition becomes less and the few left will charge as they want.
“It is embarrassing that airlines have to go and refuel in Ghana,” he said.
Time to assist the FG
After the debate, the senate resolved to assist the Federal Government in its planned intervention in the current challenges in aviation sector with a view to saving the travellers.
The red chamber also urged the federal government to ensure that all operators who would benefit from the intervention do not increase fares arbitrarily.
The lawmakers urged the Federal Government to prevail and insist that airlines used the Naira as the official currency in all transactions in the industry.