Nigeria’s aviation sector has been losing about N21 billion monthly since the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country, an official has said.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this at the daily Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.
He said the huge loss is associated with lack of activities at the sector whose income solely depends on flight operations.
“In civil aviation, we are in a very difficult moment like everyone else. All of these things started because someone travelled and unfortunately came back home with it (ailment) and the consequence is what we have been going through.
“We are the worst-hit than any other sector. Based on the trend of events before COVID-19, the total loss is about N21 billion approximately plus about N3 billion tangentially and this is divided in this form: N7 billion for aviation agencies which they lose in a month, N10 billion for airline and N4 billion for ground handling, catering and others and the tangential N3 billion,” he said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on all sectors of the economy.
The Nigerian government had on March 23 shut all international airports in the country for an initial period of one month. Local airports were also shut days later. Following the one month completion, the airport closure was extended by two weeks.
An additional four weeks extension was announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The move was part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus which has affected over three million people worldwide and killed over 270,000.
However, the government said emergency and essential flights could be operated from any of the airports within the period.