October 21, 2021

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N4bn Aviation Stimulus: Gbenga Olowo Utterly Rejects Offer

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Dr Gabriel Olugbenga Olowo, President Saber W.A. displaying his recently acquired doctoral certificate

The paltry sum of N4billion, about $10.3million earmarked to the aviation industry as announced early in the week, by Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, has been described as woeful, ridiculous, and grossly inadequate to achieve the least of any measurable impact on the industry.

Dr Olugbenga Gabriel Olowo, President Saber West Africa, who announced the rejection said, aside from the fact that the stimulus came rather too late, the ridiculous amount is such that cannot stimulate anything and an indication that the government does not have an adequate understanding of what constitutes the components that make up an aviation industry.

Dr Olugbenga Gabriel Olowo, President, Saber West Africa, who expressed his immense disappointment in the belated stimulus declared that “It is better the government does not intervene and tell us they cannot help us because they have to pay Senators and House of Representatives members.”

Dr Olowo who has chalked up about four decades work experience in the air transport industry lamented thus, “Reasonable countries intervened in their aviation industries in the second or third month. This is the eighth month and Nigeria is just responding” by dropping bile and leaving a sour taste in the mouth of all industry players.

He volunteered a brief tutorial on elements that comprised the aviation industry thus, ”The airline industry is not made up of aeroplanes alone; there are allied services, people that produce onboard service are part of it; there are those who produce distribution, which we call sales and marketing, these are now outsourced and it is all part of the aviation industry”.

Olowo, who is also the President, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, further explained, ”this is without forgetting handling companies, they are all part of aviation. So how do you want to share N4billion among them? If you put that money into the well of debt of Arik alone, it will swallow it”.

The Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, President, in utter disgust lamented that ”I think the government should just leave us to die, then we will know Nigeria has no aviation industry. N4billion palliative for the aviation industry is very insensitive. I condemn it totally”.

In the ASRTI President’s very terse but vehement reaction to the announcement of the palliative, he stated thus, ”Mr President and Minister Hadi Sirika, thank you for the palliative. Domestic airlines alone are owing about N22 billion to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). In business losses, they lost N360billion. This is all as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reasonable countries intervened in their aviation industries in the second or third month. This is the eighth month and Nigeria is just responding”

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