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Ministry Of Aviation Accused Of Partial Disbursements Of Palliative funds

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Sen. Hadi Sirika

Stakeholders in aviation industry in Nigeria have accused the Ministry of Aviation of been partial in the disbursements of palliatives meant for the industry.

The stakeholders who expressed their displeasures at the modalities employed by officials of the Ministry at disbursing the funds, alleged that some organizations who met the requirements to access the palliative were denied.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had promised a palliative of N27billion palliative out of N5billion have been released to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on the industry.

Speaking with aviation journalists on the disbursement of the funds, Chief Executive Officer of WestLink, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia lamented the inability of his company to access the N5billion fund palliative so far released by the Federal government despite meeting the requirements.

Mshelia who described the process of disbursing the fund as mirage, alleged that the ministry officials handpicked their favourites for the disbursements.

“The whole thing is a mirage. I don’t know what is going on. I have not received. There are some people who have received,” he said.

The CEO of WestLink who claimed his company met the requirements and submitted necessary documents to the ministry, added, “My office submitted the necessary documents. I am a member of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON).

There is no leadership of AON as far as I am concerned because we are already in court.

The minister and all the relevant people were served. They said we should submit our account and other details to the ministry of aviation for the collection of palliative” .

He continued, “We wrote to the minister directly and attention the committee, which was received.

“On the entire N27bn released by the government I am not aware of this at all, but what I can say is that everything seems to be shrouded in secrecy.

Nobody knows anything. I know government has given us money and I heard some people have not received. I know other colleagues who have not equally.

“It is obvious the ministry just handpicked those they wanted. They don’t want to give. It appears that we are less in number that didn’t receive.

It is obvious a few of us were targeted. Whatever reason, I don’t know. Nobody has called me why I have not received and when I will receive it,” Mshelia said.

Another stakeholder, The Chief Executive Officer of Tropical Arctic Logistics (TAL) Helicopter Company, Engr. Femi Adeniji who claimed that despite meeting the prescribed requirements to accessing the palliative and his company listed among those qualified, he expressed the disappointment that his company was yet to get its share of the palliative.

“I have tried, I have called the Federal Ministry of Aviation; I have four helicopters that I am operating. They asked us to send account numbers, which we did.

“Even up to last Friday, I still called them to find out what is going on.

Unfortunately, I was in the United States when my company’s name was published as among those who will receive the palliative; but we have not gotten anything up till now.

Adeniji who claimed the funds, if received would be used to, settle staff salaries and overheads bills, therefore, called on the federal government to ensure the actual release of the palliative to the beneficiaries instead of spreading propaganda in the media.

“They said they were going to give it to us, salaries are still being owed, staff are complaining.

If they say they are going to give us, let them give us. They should not put it in the newspapers and nothing happens thereafter.”

The TAL Helicopters boss who claimed that Federal government has released N25bn to the Minister of Aviation for disbursement to the affected stakeholders in the industry queried the rational behind the selective disbursement of the fund.

“I understand they got N25bn from the Federal government and they are giving us N5bn. Even at that, why give some airlines and not give the others?” Adeniji queried.

Tags : Sen. Hadi Sirika

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