The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has described withdrawal of airlines from Nigeria as a bad omen for the country.
Speaking during a session on the proposed concessioning of four airports on Thursday, the Deputy Senate President explained that if urgent step was not taken, there might be loss of jobs.
He said: “A situation where airlines cannot send back their money to their home countries is a disaster. Competition becomes less and the few left will charge as they want. It is embarrassing that airlines have to go and refuel in Ghana.”
Earlier in his presentation, Senator Dino Melaye said: “Senate notes with sadness the emerging challenges bedeviling the aviation industry as a result of the current economic recession where airlines like United Airlines, Iberia Airline, Emirate and the Kenya Airlines have either suspended or about to withdraw their operations in the country.
“Disturbed that the implication of the current crisis is set to further make matters worse for the ordinary traveling Nigerians who are already being considerably burdened over the current economic challenges we are facing.
“Observes that the problem of this airlines moving to withdraw their services from Nigeria has been partly as a result of their inability to repatriate their funds and meet with their operational obligations;
“Observes that the implications of this development is grave in terms of its impact on our job creation policy, investment drive and economic recovery plans;
“Notes with gladness the current steps being taken by government to use its policy directives to ameliorate the problems in order to forestall the collapse of the industry, including concessions and special arrangements to enable the airlines operate in a more conducive atmosphere.
“Observes further that government must put the welfare of the Nigerian citizen foremost in its negotiations with the affected airlines; “Notes also that government must begin to put in place a more lasting and sustainable programme of intervention and policy direction that will put the industry back in the course of growth.”