Aviation crisis: FG provides $1bn to help airlines buy new planes

by Isi Esene

The problems in the Nigerian aviation industry might soon be solved as the federal government has decided to provide financial guaranty to ailing airline for the purchase of new aircrafts to get their business off the ground.

This piece of good news to disclosed by the governor of Plateau State, Jonah Jang, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the national economic council meeting presided by Vice-President Namadi Sambo on Thursday in Abuja.

He was joined at the briefing by governors Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) and Ibrahim Shettima (Borno), as well as the Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman.

The efforts, he explained, included the plan to support the airlines by providing guarantees to enable them boost their fleet through the purchase of new or serviceable aircraft.

Aviation experts say this plan, if well implemented, will go a long way to alleviate the crisis currently being experienced in the aviation industry.

A source said, “What the government is planning will make foreign banks to finance aircraft acquisition by Nigerian airlines.

“Foreign banks will not finance aircraft acquisition for Nigerian airlines except a local bank provides the guarantee. Local banks will not do this unless they are sure that in case the airlines default, someone will pay. So, this is where the government guarantees come in.”

Reports say the government was looking at providing between $500m and $1bn guarantee to allow Nigerian carriers bring in at least 20 brand new jets into the country.

If everything goes as planned, the airlines are expected start acquiring new planes within 18months.

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