Lagos - The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has lauded
the flexible foreign exchange policy unveiled by the Central Bank of Nigeria
(CBN) on Wednesday.
Capt. Nogie Meggison, AON President, told the News Agency of
Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos that the move was a welcome development and
a step in the right direction.
The new policy effectively removes controls on the naira,
and is expected to increase dollar supply and help the nation’s fragile
Meggison said the removal of the restriction would enable
airlines have easier access to forex, which constitutes a bulk of their
"We thank God that they finally listened to remove the
restriction placed on foreign exchange.
"Foreign exchange is 70 per cent of our direct
operating costs through areas like buying spare parts, insurance, training of
pilots and other expenses.
"So if the government can make it more available and
accessible, it is going to affect us positively and we are very glad about it.
“It is a step in the right direction," he said.
Also read: AMCON takes over Aero Contractors
The AON president, however, appealed to the Federal
Government to subsidise domestic airlines operating in the country in order to
boost the aviation industry.
"Government has to find a way out to look at how
airlines can have access to funds. In Kenya, the government just injected 800m
dollars into the airline business.
"In America, the government has put in billions of
dollars to jump-start the aviation sector in order to keep the economy
going," Meggison said.
He said that the aviation industry was pivotal for economic
development and efforts should be made to develop airport facilities across
Nigeria, making the country an aviation hub.
For the latest on
national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and
like our Facebook page.