By Ajuma Edwina OgiriThe Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, says COVID-19 pandemic has hit the nation’s aviation sector badly with the airlines losing about N17 billion monthly since their operations were grounded.
The Federal Government had five weeks ago closed the airports to local and international flights following the outbreak of Coronavirus.
Sirika who disclosed this at the Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, said the closure of the airports became necessary as part of efforts to curb the spread of the virus.“We are in very difficult moments like everyone else. All of this started because someone travelled and unfortunately came back home with it and the consequence is what we’ve been going though.
“We are the worst hit, than any other sector. Some N17 billion naira monthly is being lost by the airlines, thanks to COVID-19,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, has said that airports in the country would remain closed for another four weeks.
Mustapha, who is the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, announced this at the daily media briefing of the committee in Abuja on Wednesday.
The extension of the airports’ closure for another one month became necessary after the government received advice from experts, he said.