Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government thursday said it was regrettable to record the ongoing staff reduction and wage cut in the country’s aviation sector.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in his message to employees in the aviation industry as they join their peers in celebrating Workers’ Day.
In a statement issued by the Director, Public Affairs, Federal Ministry of Aviation, Mr. James Oduadu, the minister stated that the “ugly situation” was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The statement read in part, “According to the minister, it is highly regrettable that airlines and other service providers were being forced to cope with the option of either sending their staff on compulsory leaves or reduction of their wages as occasioned by the redundancy caused by COVID-19 scourge.”
Sirika said the Federal Government was aware of the dire situation in the aviation sector and would do whatever was practically possible to mitigate the consequences of the total lockdown in the industry.
He said the government would create an environment that would support businesses to bounce back in the sector.
Sirika appealed to both private and public workers in the sector to keep hope alive.
Nigeria’s major carrier, Arik Air had recently ordered 90 per cent of its staff to proceed on leave without pay till further notice.
It had also implemented 80 per cent salary cut for its personnel for the month of April.
This was contained in the mail the Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Roy Ilegbolu sent to the staff, where he promised that the suspension would be subject to monthly review.
Ilegbolu noted the global economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected the world, creating uncertainty.