- Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a member of the House of Reps has begged aviation organisations and airlines not to abandon their staff this period
- The appeal is coming after an airline allegedly told its staff that they would not be paid for the period of the president's lockdown order
- The lawmaker expressed fear that the airline's action may trigger other organisations to take the same cause of action
In light of the current situation the COVID-19 pandemic has caused in Nigeria, Nnolim Nnaji, a member of the Nigerian House of Representatives has appealed to private organisations in the aviation sector and airlines not to abandon their staff in this period of uncertainties.
Nnaji, who serves as the chairman House committee on aviation, said he was disturbed by the memo a particular airline issued to its staff to the effect that they would not be paid for the period of the two weeks lockdown directive by the government.
The lawmaker representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu state, speaking further on the viral memo stressed that the possibility of no pay would extend if the situation persisted.
He expressed fear and worry that other establishments may do likewise if care is not taken. However, Nnaji appealed to the airline management to reconsider its action in this regard.
The lawmaker urged other aviation organisations to show extreme compassion to their staff. He said: “I’m aware that elsewhere, governments are providing palliatives for employers of labour to cushion the impact of this pandemic but because of our peculiar circumstances the Federal Government may not immediately offer such at the moment.”
The committee chairman while expressing optimism about relief to assist the airlines, called on Senator Hadi Sariki, the minister of aviation, to hold talks with the various stakeholders in the industry.
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Legit.ng previously reported that President Muhammadu Buhari has given a directive for the protection of staff salaries, pensions of retirees and statutory transfer in spite of the challenge posed by COVID-19 that has affected the economy.
The minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this when she appeared as a guest on Channels Television “Politics Today” programme monitored by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
Ahmed said the president also directed that key infrastructure projects such as major roads, railway line, and power that were critical to growth and development were also protected.
In a related development, the transfer of N20,000 by the federal government to poor households in the Kwali area council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja has begun.
Sadia Umar-Farouk, the minister of humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development, on Wednesday, April 1, said that this is part of President Buhari's plan to help vulnerable Nigerians to cope with the lockdown order over coronavirus.
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