The Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) advised the federal government to deduct at source, from any palliative intervention funds to airlines, all outstanding huge debts before balance of whatever amount be given to the concerned airlines.
The aviation union gave the advice in an official letter, dated 18th May, 2020, addressed to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
The letter signed by the secretary general of ANAP, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu stated that “much as ANAP is not opposed to their call on Government to bail out our airlines with Covid-19 Palliative intervention funds, we wish to draw the attention of the Honourable Minister of Aviation and federal government in a more clear term that, the federal government should deduct at source from any palliative intervention funds to airlines, all outstanding huge debts before balance of whatever amount be given to the concerned airlines”.
According to Saidu, “it is on record that huge sums of indebtedness of airlines to some service providers such as Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) , Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) , Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) , Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) which must be stopped if aviation industry is to move forward”.
The labour group therefore, emphasised that prompt payment of such debts is very important because the services have been provided which the airlines enjoyed.
They urged the government to make the airlines pay for the services they have enjoyed without wasting more time.
Saidu lamented a situation whereby, government intervention funds to airlines were diverted for different purposes thereby, making the fool of government, adding that it is unacceptable.
Explaining further, Saidu added that “example of this, was the funds granted the Discovery Air and other airlines who benefited from the federal government intervention funds in the past without making good use of the funds for the purpose to revamping the airlines; this should not be allowed to repeat itself again”.
On the relocation of aviation agencies’ headquarters from Lagos to Abuja, the union stated that those workers penned down for relocation from Lagos to Abuja must be fully paid their entitlements duly agreed with the union before moving them to Abuja while a meeting should be called urgently to negotiate relocation of staff entitlements.