Reprieve might have come the ways of both aviation agencies and airlines as the Federal Government has said that it will accept Naira from airlines which owe it in Dollar transactions, adding that the decision to accept Naira instead of Dollars was taken last week by the government.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Alhaji Hadi Sirika revealed this at the stakeholders meeting on aviation in Abuja.
He said that the decision was as a result of the current economic recession which has resulted in scarcity of foreign exchange, especially dollars.
He added that this was one of the ways the Federal Government could assist airlines operating in Nigeria from going under and also rescue operations of aviation agencies that are struggling under the heavy indebtedness by the airlines.
According to the minister, “For airlines that are operating within the country and domestically owned, we have the moral challenge to help them. Just last week, we took a decision that most of the airlines that are owing us in dollars which they do not have, not that they do not want to pay, maybe it will be good to take the Naira equivalent.”
He also said the government appreciate the difficult operative environment the airlines are confronted in. “I do know for a fact that it is difficult for them to operate. I am not sure if government on its own initiate those support services, but if any airline comes forward with the request and we feel that the request is in the interest of the industry, we will be the first to promote that request.”