FG confirms airports will no longer reopen June 21
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said June 21 is no longer a feasible date, for the resumption of domestic flights in the country.
The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, stated this on Thursday at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 media briefing in Abuja.
Musa represented the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, at the briefing.
According to him, it would be disastrous for the country and aviation industry to reopen the airports on that date.
Musa, however, said the agency will announce a specific date of resumption, after proper appraisal of the situation and meeting with stakeholders.
A new date is expected to be announced by the end of June.
Earlier, the Senate had said the reopening of the nation’s airports for operation on June 21 was unrealistic, following concerns raised by workers in the aviation industry.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC Kogi), gave the position when the committee met with officials of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Air Transport Services.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the union officials had raised concerns experienced by the workers from their various employers.
They told the committee, in their separate presentations, that workers had not been paid salaries for some months, while some were paid half or received quarter salary by their various employers since the COVID-19 lockdown began in March.
The representatives of the aviation workers also noted that there was a need for special financial intervention and provision of necessary protocols, protective systems in view of the COVID-19 pandemic before reopening the airports for operations.
Adeyemi said the senate was concerned about the issues raised by the aviation workers on their challenges, given that the aviation sector was key to the social-economic development of any country.
Tola Johnson, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Micro Small and Medium and Medium Enterprises(MSMEs), says 100,000 small businesses will get N50,000 each.
NAN reports that the gesture is part of COVID-19 economic stimulus.
The presidential aide made the announcement at the inauguration of the Implementation of Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-Take Stimulus Schemes for MSMEs on Thursday in Abuja.
Johnson, the Project Coordinator, said that the schemes were part of the Economic Sustainability Plan drafted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led committee and approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Payroll Support targets 100,000 businesses. However, the number of individuals who will benefit from this is 500,000. What the government has done is to say that there a lot of MSMEs that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Afterward, there is a CAC (Corporate Affairs Commission) free registration; it is free for the MSMEs but the government is paying the CAC for this. What the government has done is to say to the CAC, you do this regularly to the MSMEs at about N12,000 or thereabout; give it to us at half price, we will give it to the MSMEs free.’’
Johnson added that under the National MSMEs Clinic, Osinbajo and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment went to no fewer than 26 states.
He said it was discovered that very creative businesses were not registered.
“They will tell you they don’t have N10,000 to N12,000 to register their businesses. The government had promised that at some point, we will do and I think the opportunity has come now; the opportunity cannot be better than now.’’
The official also announced that under the Survival Fund, the last strap would be the Transport and Artisans Support.
At least 333,000 beneficiaries will get a one-off N30,000 grant, Johnson said.
He added that the government will work with associations, individuals and the Ministry of Transportation to implement the scheme.