The Federal Government has approved a N5bn bailout for the aviation sector.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this, said airline operators would get N4bn, while other aviation businesses would get N1bn to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations.
He said this just as the Senate noted that the bailout would not be enough to take the sector through the tough times.
Sirika spoke at the opening of a three-day public hearing to look into the Acts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Nigerian Meteorological Agency and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
The Minister, who noted that the Federal Government could not afford the failure of the important sector, added that the funds would soon be made available to the airlines.
He urged the National Assembly to grant approval for the funds to enable the airlines bounce back.
Making a case for the airlines, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi, had said, “N4bn is very little to solve some of the problems of the airlines who are battling to survive. We urge the government to take charge of the sector. They need to give them more and they also need to support in all ways.
“We cannot continue to look at them without offering assistance to them. I am not comparing Nigeria with the United States, but I think we can do better than the N4bn.”