FG must provide foreign exchange access to support aviation- Fatokun

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United Nigeria Airlines achieves record time IATA Certificate
Dr. Samson Fatokun, IATA's Regional Manager presenting the certificate to Professor Obiora Okonkwo, Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines while Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer Mazi Osita Okonkwo and Embraer Regional Vice President Sales, Francisco Moraes look on

IATA’s Samson Fatokun urges the government to grant foreign exchange access to aviation for its to persevere and eventually succeed.

He said this last week while presenting United Nigeria Airlines its Certificate of IATA membership.

“For the government to support the aviation industry, there must be a clear line of forex support to the industry. You cannot have a catalyst industry supporting the economy and the blood nerve of that industry is being denied. How do you want it to be a catalyst?” Fatokun asked.

According to him, the foreign exchange debt problem is not peculiar to foreign airlines alone as domestic operators also face this difficulty.

“They are flying in this market where 90% of their revenue is in local currency.  In that local currency they have to attend to their cost of which 90% is in dollars. How do you want them to maintain their operations without having access to foreign exchange? ” Fatokun asked again.

He said that government support in aviation should have a transparent forex support system that is vital to sustain the industry’s stability.

Fatokun maintained that the Dollar is the currency of civil aviation and that is how it runs globally.

“Airlines don’t buy aircraft in naira. They don’t maintain aircraft in naira. You don’t train your simulation outside in naira. The currency of the industry is the dollar and our Government needs to understand th/at.”

“For government support in aviation, a transparent forex support system is vital to sustain the industry’s growth and stability.”He explained.

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