N5B Palliative : Three Months After Aero, West Link, Others Yet To Receive Fund
...Accused Ministry Of Selective Disbursement
…As Stakeholders Demand For N22B Palliative Balance
Barely three months after N5 billion of the N27 billion Federal Government palliative to aviation industry was released and the Ministry of Aviation have started disbursing, some airline operators are yet to receive their own share of the N5 billion meant for carriers and ground handling companies.
Besides, stakeholders in the industry are demanding to know what happens to the balance of N22 billion palliative , as no one seems to know where it is or what has happened to it except the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika.
While airlines such as Air Peace, Arik, Dana Air embattled and suspended Azman Air, Sky Power among others have collected their own share depending on their strength , Aero Contractors, West Link, TAL Helicopters and others have not receive their own share of the initial N5 billion.
Abelnewsng.com learnt that while some airlines got N500 million as their share , others may not be given that same amount , as the palliative it was gathered was shared based on the individual airline.
The agitation to know what has become to the balance of N22 billion became necessary in view of the fact stakeholders are not are aware of where the money is or what has happened despite the fact that the Aviation Minister had alleged that the balance would be spent on Aviation Roadmap and the controversial and long awaited National Carrier.
Speaking on the N5 billion palliative, the Chief Executive Officer, West Link, Capt. Ibrahim Mshelia said that he has not been able to access the money , despite summitting all the documents as demanded by the Aviation Ministry and that from the look of things, the project is a mirage.
According to him, “The whole thing is a mirage. I don’t know what is going on. I have not received it. There are some people who have received?
On whether he has made effort to access the fund, Mshelia, “What is the attempt? My office submitted the necessary documents. I am a member of 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.
“We wrote to the minister directly and attention the committee, which was received.”
He continued, “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.”
He said that he was not aware that the Federal Government released a total of N27 billion.
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 the government has given us money and I heard some people have not received. I know other colleagues who have not equally.
Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Tropical Arctic Logistics (TAL) Helicopter Company,Engr. Femi Adeniji, stated that he had made efforts to access the fund but that his efforts had not yielded any positive result.
He added that he has sent all the necessary documents and account numbers, adding that despite that he has not received anything .
“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 was going on. Unfortunately, I was in the US when my company’s name was published as among those who will receive the palliative, but we have not gotten anything up until now.”
On what the Federal Government to do as far as this matter is concerned, “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.
“I understand they got N25 billion from the government and they are giving us N5 billion . Even at that, why give some airlines and not give the others?
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Securities, Capt. John Ojikutu(rtd) said the Federal Government should give agencies in the industry palliative as much as the money is being extended to airline operators.
He contended that the National Assembly should be interrogated to know how much palliatives was approved for the six agencies and the controversial National carrier.
“If the airlines are getting palliatives to revamp their operations and pay salaries, we should expect the same for the government agencies, too for their equipment and staff; how much for these? We need to know for the six aviation agencies; how much for the new ‘national carrier’? We need to know. So, ask the NASS Senate and House of Representatives that approved the money and the ministry that is disbursing it,” he said.
On his part, the former General Secretary, National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE), Comrade Olayinka Abioye, said he is not aware the N22 billion has been released to the Aviation Ministry, adding that the agencies are still struggling to to access the money from the Ministry of Finance
“I am not sure if the money has been released to the ministry, the agencies are still struggling to get the money from ministry of finance. All agencies have submitted their needs, which is mainly on staff salary and overhead
“The agencies are liaising with finance for the money, but I was made to understand that there were small challenges between the finance and aviation Ministry,” he said.