The Nigerian federal government has appealed to Emirates Airline and other foreign airlines operating in the country to reconsider the decision of withdrawing their services.
According to James Odaudu, deputy director in the ministry of aviation, Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, made the plea in Abuja during a visit by Manoj Gopi Nair, West African regional manager for Emirates on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
Oduadu quoted Sirika as assuring the operators that the challenges confronting the aviation sector would soon be resolved.
“The minister has appealed to the management of Emirates and other airlines to reconsider their decisions to either suspend their operations or scale them down, considering the adverse effects on their long-standing costumers and the benefits they had reaped in the past,” Oduadu said in a statement.
“Government is not unaware of the issues that have created operational difficulties for both domestic and foreign airlines, such as Foreign Exchange, Aviation fuel and infrastructural deficiencies and the government has been up and doing to ensure the creation of an environment that is both enabling and profitable for all airlines to operate.”
But Nair explained that the decision to scale down operation was based on poor access to foreign exchange, high cost of aviation fuel and the state of the Abuja Airport runway.
On infrastructural deficiencies at Abuja airport, Sirika said the government was already handling the issue, noting that the long-term solution was to concession the major airports.
He added that the scarcity of aviation fuel, which threatened to cripple the industry in the recent past, had been resolved as government had made it easier for importers to bring in the product.