Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika Monday said the Nigerian Government has inaugurated the National Air Transport Facilitation Committee to review the guidelines for the reopening of the country’s airports to international flights
Sirika, while speaking at the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 briefing in Abuja, highlighted members of the committee to include officials from ministries of Aviation, Foreign Affairs, Health, the Interior, Culture and Tourism and government agencies such as Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Customs, Nigeria Immigration, Nigerian police, Nigerian Quarantine Service, and Nigeria Drug and Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The minister, while lamenting the inability of the aviation industry to pay staff salaries because international flights were yet to resume, said “the industry need passenger movement especially international passengers to survive, it’s very difficult for us to pay salaries so we want to open more than you want to open,” adding that “we daily deal with it but it is subject to several factors, all the sacrifice the industry is making is in the interest of the general public.”
“We will definitely reopen. We will definitely reopen very soon and when it’s safe to do so reopening is the work of not only the aviation industry but other MDAs left to us we would have open since as it would help us make more money and carry out our activities pay salaries and provide the services. ”
“The purpose of the delay is to see what is safe for our citizens. So please bear with the situation as it is we know that some people are caught off from their families and businesses. But please try to understand that we will open. We are very responsible people; we will open when its the right time to open.”