The federal government must as a matter of urgency begins plans on how to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 on aviation agencies in Nigeria that have been hugely hit by allocating funds to enable them carry out operations and stay afloat.
A former spokesman for the defunct Nigerian Airways and Chief Executive Officer, Belujane Konzult, Mr. Chris Aligbe counseled that for agencies in the industry notably the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to remain afloat, it is imperative it receive allocation from the federal government.
He alluded to the fact that the COVID -19 lockdown has greatly impacted global aviation in a way that countries are racing to save aviation industry from collapse.
Aligbe reiterated that failure to provide such incentives and support windows for the agencies signals an impending collapse of the Nigerian industry.
The impacts, according to him, arises from travel restrictions adopted globally as the prominent measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Aligbe explained that the entire spectrum of the industry, which comprises of the aviation agencies, the airlines, the handling companies and other aviation allied support service providers are reeling from the impact of the COVID-19 induced shutdown.
According to him, to ensure these agencies survive and discharge their duties after the COVID-19, allocations to agencies like FAAN, which depends on flights to generate revenues to run the 22 airports under its purview becomes imperative.
Speaking of sources of revenue for the agency, he lamented that the suspension of flights, both domestic and foreign airlines has virtually erased both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenue base for FAAN.
“Every aspect of the industry is impacted particularly because the revenues in the industry depend on the flights whether it is aeronautical or non-aeronautical. The more flights you have into an airport, the more likely businesses will develop around the airport.
“The main revenue generation, the passenger sale charge (PSC), the ticket sale charge (TSC), that is the main revenue that is generated and shared among the parastatals particularly like the regulatory body that does not engage in business like the AIB and NIMET though NIMET engages in business limitedly.
“But FAAN (the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) engages in business and its business is dependent on a lot of flights that come in; the landing and parking charges, the rentals, and all other businesses whether you are talking about airport charges, whether you are talking about toll gate charges, duty free shops or eateries, restaurants, it all depends on whether the people are coming, it depends on the travelling passengers and more importantly it depends on meeters and greeters.
“Now FAAN cannot get that because flights are not coming, all businesses are shut down and more importantly on the side of FAAN, they are losing both aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues. They have lost it and there is no other place for them to generate any fund.