Following the desire of the Federal Government to strengthen indigenous airlines and make them global players, the Federal Government has started consultation with the financial sector to ensure that airlines have access to fund at minimal interest rates.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, the Minister of Aviation Princess Stella Oduah disclosed that she was discussing with relevant authorities to ensure that airlines access funds at a single digit interest rate.
The minister was speaking against the back drop of the state of indigenous airlines which are currently weighed down by high operating costs coupled with inadequate funding.
The minister who was represented at a seminar in Lagos by Mr. Joe Obi, Special Media Assistance to the Minister, further spoke on the rising cost of aviation fuel which has affected the bottomline of airlines, especially the perennial scarcity of the product in the aviation industry and the effort of government to find a lasting solution to the problem through a committee set up by the aviation ministry.
Oduah explained that the ministry was currently discussing with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on how to find a permanent solution to the recurring crisis.
She insisted that the report of the committee submitted to the ministry was not dead and that part of their recommendations was what the ministry was implementing, adding that at the end of the day, the federal government would come out with a “tangible, workable and visible report” for the industry.
She however advised indigenous airlines to consolidate their operations for profit purposes. She said the only way their operations could be strengthened was for them to merge with one and other, adding that the government would however not force them to merge their operations.