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FG begs foreign airlines to stay, Emirates insists on going



FG begs foreign airlines to stay, Emirates insists on going

Worried by the rate at which foreign airlines are deserting Nigeria, the Federal Government has appealed to those of them already on the verge of suspending their operations to reconsider such plans.

Though officials had maintained silence over report of airlines suspending operations, the alleged winding down of two major international airlines, Emirates and Ethiopian, was said to have sent top government officials summoning a meeting with key players in the industry in Abuja on Tuesday.

Confirming government concern on the matter, Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirikaat met the West African Regional manager for Emirates Airlines, Manoj Gopi Nair, to use his good offices to halt the pending suspension of his airline’s services in the country.

According to the Minister, government has taken cognizance of the issues that have created operational difficulties for both domestic and foreign airlines, such as Foreign Exchange, Aviation fuel and infrastructural deficiencies.

He pledged that urgent actions were being taken towards tackling them.

He recalled the recent concession given to airlines by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to enable them procure the required Foreign Exchange to clear the backlog of matured Foreign Exchange obligations.

He described the CBN intervention as a direct fall-out of efforts of the Ministry to minimize the identified challenges. He also promised to immediately take up the Emirates complaints about Foreign Exchange with the relevant authorities.

Read also: African airlines dump Nigeria as West African hub

On infrastructural deficiencies, especially the runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Minister said while the government was already handling the issue, the long-term solution remained in the concession of the major airports for which government had already commenced the process.

That, he said, would address the problems of infrastructure at the airports.

But contrary to expectation, Nair insisted that the Emirates management had already concluded plans to scale down its operations in Nigeria, with the suspension of operations from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He said the decision was based on the airline’s inability to make ends meet in view of the difficulties in accessing foreign exchange for its operations.

He also listed the high cost of aviation fuel and the state of the Abuja Airport runway as other factors.
By Emma Eke…..



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  1. yanju omotodun

    October 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I never knew the federal government can beg a firm for leaving. So they knew the economic relevance of emirates airlines. Okay o
    Emirates please don’t go . I beg una.


    October 27, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Eeeyah. This recession is forcing companies and firms to move out of Nigeria because they can no longer meet their profit target. This is a big sign that APC government is a big flaw.

  3. victoria wilson

    October 27, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Everything is going from bad to worse in this country. the economy needs to be revived asap.

    • Nonso Ezeugo

      October 27, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      my dear God will surely take control no matter what our economy will bounce back again

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