Chairman of Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema has hailed the Federal Government for granting foreign exchange concession to indigenous airlines.
The chairman said the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) window as recently announced was a plus to the airlines which he said are finding it difficult staying afloat as a result of the scarcity of dollars.
Nigerian airlines have continued to lament over the forex scarcity as they carry out most of their operations in dollars while their tickets are sold in the local currency of naira.
Speaking with Daily Trust, Onyema said the forex scarcity has been very debilitating for the airlines. He commended the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for his efforts in securing the concession.
He said, “If the government has decided to make us access Forex through the Central Bank window that is a plus for us. I commend the Federal Government for doing that and we are very grateful that they are giving a listening ear to the wailings of the airline community.”
He also commends the government for the waiver granted on airlines to import spare parts and aircraft into the country, saying he has benefitted immensely from the gesture.
“I think the government is listening”, he said, adding, “Another issue I want government to look into iis the high cost of aviation fuel. All over the world, aviation fuel has gone down by double. However in Nigeria the cost of acquiring aviation fuel has quadrupled”.
Speaking further, he said Nigerian airlines are highly regulated more than in any other country in the world, adding they are “super safe” to fly by members of the public.
He debunked recent claim by the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives that the airlines are not safe.
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