Operators in the aviation industry have expressed displeasure over the manner in which the disbursement of the N27 billion Covid-19 intervention fund earmarked for the aviation sector was carried out.
The N27 billion bailout palliative was introduced by the Federal Government last year to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown and restriction in air travel on the industry
While operators expressed displeasure over the release of only N5 billion out of the N27 billion, some operating carriers complained of being left out of the disbursement.
However, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has pledged to carry out an investigation on the issues raised by the operators.
It was reported that the Federal Government earlier shared the sum of N4 billion bailout funds among about 18 scheduled and non-scheduled local carriers, to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic while aviation service providers got N1 billion.
It was gathered that all airlines with valid Air Operating Certificates (AOCs) were given access to the fund which was distributed according to the size of the carrier.
It was learnt that these parameters made some airlines that were deemed inoperative to be beneficiaries of the COVID-19 stimulus package.
Aero Contractors, Ibom Air, West Link, TAL Helicopters, and Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMOs) are some of the airlines that complained of missing out on the stimulus package.
Speaking on the matter, the Chief Executive Officer of West Link, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia, alleged that a lot were shrouded in mystery as regards the bailout fund and its disbursement.
He stated that his company has submitted the required documents but had not been given the funds and no explanations had been given by the government.
Mshelia said, “I don’t know what is going on. I have not received it. Some people have received it. My office submitted the necessary documents. I am a member of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON). They said we should submit our account and other details to the ministry of aviation for the collection of palliative. We wrote to the minister directly and alerted the committee, which was received.”
The CEO of Tropical Arctic Logistics (TAL) Helicopter Company, Femi Adeniji, expressed similar concern, saying that although his company’s name was published as one of the beneficiaries of the fund, no fund had been received.