….We will rather shut down than cut corners – Yunusa
By Lawani Mikairu
Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Tuesday denied reports in certain sections of the media quoting the Senate Committee on Aviation chairman, Senator Smart Adeyemi as saying that Nigeria airline operators will start cutting corners if they are not given immediate bailout by the federal government.
Debunking the report on behalf of other operators, Dr. Abdulmunaf Yunusa
President, AON, said Nigerian operators will rather shut down their operations than cut corners.
According to Yunusa : ” The attention of the Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) has been drawn to the reports in certain news media, quoting a Senator, saying that as a result of the financial problems brought to the airlines by the effects of COVID-19 and, as result of lack of adequate government bailouts for the airline, that the airlines had resorted to cutting corners”.
“AON wishes to state categorically here that there is no iota of truth in this statement. Nigerian airlines have not cut corners, do not cut corners and will never cut corners. We want to believe that the Distinguished Senator was misunderstood and quoted out of context because there is never any available fact supporting such a conclusion”.
” In most of the media reports, the senator was quoted as pleading with government to stop the Customs department from re-introducing the payment of duties and VAT on the importation of commercial aircraft, commercial aircraft spares and engines noting that the reintroduction was a flagrant disobedience of the Executive Order by President Buhari granting zero duty and zero VAT on the importation of commercial aircraft, aircraft spares and aircraft engines noting that such decision by the Customs could make the airlines to start cutting corners because of their inability to clear their spares from the customs”.
” It was equally reported in most media that the senator in asking that Nigerian airlines be supported with adequate bailout funding, warned that if this was not done, that some airlines may resort to cutting corners”.
“We wish to state categorically that no Nigerian airline would cut corners under any circumstance. Nigerian airlines will never compromise safety under any circumstance. If the burden of running our business becomes unbearable as a result of the Custom duties and VAT, we would rather shut down and suspend our operations rather than cut corners”.
“Again, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) is alive to its duties and would never allow such to happen. Nigerian airlines, as a result of the stringent safety regime being run by the NCAA, are the safest in the world! ,” the AON President declared.