Wednesday , 25 November 2020
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Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Honorable Nnolim Nnaji

Reps say new laws to address multiple designations, to look into forex access for local airlines

VEXATIOUS issues including Multiple designation, lack of foreign currency access and high interest rates took center stage as the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has given surety that new legislation on civil aviation will critically examine and take care of multiple designations granted foreign airlines in Nigeria.

This is just as airlines and other stakeholders made strong case over their inability to access foreign exchange officially from the Central Bank as opposed to foreign airlines which are given special windows to access forex and repatriate proceeds seamlessly.

The Chairman of the Committee Honourable Nnolim Nnaji  made this known while  responding to the complaints by airlines and participants at the public hearing on amendment Bills on civil aviation Acts regarding the policies of government that tend to undermine the survival of indigenous airline operators agreed that such arrangement was detrimental to the growth of the industry.

According to Nnaji, the committee has taken note of the challenges such multiple entry policy was posing to indigenous airlines vowing to see how the new laws could address the matter.

It was the opinion of the participants that all foreign airlines operating into the country should be given approval to operate to only one destination in Nigeria and any point beyond should be through code share with an indigenous operators.

Recall that the chairman, Honourable Nnaji had earlier even before the inauguration of the Committee voiced his opposition to this same policy.

The airlines also made strong case over their inability to access foreign exchange officially from the Central Bank while foreign airlines  are given special windows to access foreign exchange and repatriate their ticket s’ proceeds seamlessly.

It was the consensus of the speakers that similar window should be created for local airlines by the Central Bank of Nigeria to enable the operators access enough foreign exchange to fund their aircraft maintenance and acquisition.

The issue of high interest rate on loans was equally raised by the airlines which according to them sometimes would go higher than twenty-five percent as against the single digit interest rate in some other climes.

Honourable Nnaji however suggested that the airlines, the agencies would need to meet with the Committee to iron out areas of conflicts so that the new laws could stand the test of time by the time they are passed.

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