The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take immediate steps to avert an imminent shutdown of flight operations in the country.
In a statement by the chairman, Mr Ndudi Elumelu, the Caucus said the shutdown would have grave consequences on national life.
It expressed concern that because aviation is pivotal to the operation, sustenance and survival of other key sectors of the economy and any shutdown of flight operations will have devastating spiral effect and worsen the excruciating economic hardship and further escalate insecurity in the country.
This according to the Caucus is because apart from the direct disabling of thousands of aviation related jobs and ancillary businesses, a shutdown of the sector will also have grave negative impact on critical government and public sector activities which are sustained by air travelling.
It added that the aviation sector is no longer an exclusive reserve of the elite, but plays central role in the movement of personnel and equipment that drive and sustain services and operations which benefit the masses in healthcare, manufacturing, education, food production, telecommunication, retailing, banking and finance, hospitality, entertainment, power, security and other key sectors.
The Caucus, observed that a shutdown of the aviation sector would therefore cripple millions of businesses as well as economic and commercial activities thereby increasing unemployment, worsen the economic hardship, put pressure on already ailing roads and exacerbate insecurity in the country.
It therefore called on President Buhari to save the aviation sector from imminent collapse by immediately addressing the fuel crisis and other challenges in the industry.
The call by the Minority Caucus is predicated on the notice by Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to shut down flight operations in the country by Monday, May 9, 2022 due to the unbearable high cost of aviation fuel (JetA1) from N190 to N700 per liter.
Meanwhile, The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika says efforts are on to address the skyrocketing price of aviation fuel popularly called Jet A1 and prevent the total short down of flight operations in the country.
This is coming on the heels of the recent announcement of flight suspension starting Monday May 9 by the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, over the astronomical rise in price of Aviation fuel at N700 per litre.
Reporting by Ibrahim Shehu, Editing by Omotola Oguneye