Trapped Funds: Aviation workers express worry over loomimg job loss

AVIATION workers, under the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) umbrella, have expressed worry regarding the blocked funds of Emirates airline in Nigeria.

The workers, in a letter to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told him that the situation threatened the employment of Nigerians in the service of foreign airlines.

The situation, they feared, would affect not only the airlines’ direct workers, but also the entire workers that provide ground-handling services to the airlines.

The statement read in part, “We feel obliged to mention the threat to the employment and livelihood of thousands of workers of these foreign airlines should there result in further significant reductions, or outright shutdown, of operations of these airlines.

“We must also mention the concomitant losses (not excluding jobs) that would accrue to several service providers who are dependent on, almost entirely, the foreign airlines – ground handling, inflight catering, logistics, aviation security, etc.

“This, unfortunately, is already visible from the reductions of operations that have come into effect in the past weeks resulting from the impasse.”

Saying they were not unmindful of the current difficulties being encountered by the nation due to the acute shortage of foreign exchange, they asked the federal government to deploy various measures to solve the problem hindering smooth aviation business.

The workers offered their support, adding they would be available for any stakeholder meeting to address the matter.

Recently, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) slammed the Nigerian government over its failure to help Emirates Airlines in getting its funds out of Nigeria.

Emirates announced on August 18, 2022 a stoppage of all its flights from Nigeria with effect from September 1, 2022 due to challenges it said it was experiencing in repatriating its funds.



    In a statement the airline forwarded to The ICIR, it said no progress had been made in getting its funds out of Nigeria, hence the decision.

    According to the airline, it had unsuccessfully been attempting to repatriate the sum of $85 million of ticket sales it alleged was stuck in Nigeria.

    Intervening, IATA asked the government to release the airline’s money before more damage was done.

    The amount of airline money that the Nigerian federal government has allegedly blocked from repatriation by July 2022 was estimated to have grown to $464 million.

    Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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