The Senate has warned of imminent plane crashes in the country if urgent steps are not taken to reverse the gradual decline in the aviation industry.
A motion was raised by Senator Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West) tagged: “Disturbing Development in the Nigerian Aviation Industry” during plenary on Thursday.
Minority Leader, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, in his contribution, said airlines could no longer access foreign exchange to service their aircrafts, therefore exposing passengers to danger.
He expressed the fear that some operators may resort to cutting corners as a result of the situation.
Akpabio added that many airlines in the country were bankrupt ‘and dead’, stressing that other operators had either withdrawn or relocated to neighbouring countries.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 aircrafts,” he noted.
Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided, said withdrawal of airlines from Nigeria’s aviation industry was a bad omen which 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.
The senate resolved to join hands with the executive to save Nigerians by ensuring that an intervention is given to the sector
The Upper Chamber insisted that all operators must benefit from the intervention which would not necessarily increase prices arbitrarily.
The Senate added that all airlines must be compelled to use the naira as the official currency in all their transactions.