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FG bars aides of VIPs from airport terminals, to grant loans to airlines, others at 5%

The Federal Government has barred all non-travelling aides of public office holders and very important personalities (VIPs) from gaining access into the Airport terminal. 

This is part of the measure and aviation protocol designed to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease and ensure safety of the passengers and workers in the aviation sector. 

This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, during Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19. 

Sirika said that this measure applies especially to Governors, Ministers, National Assembly Members, Judicial officers and Military officers as the practice of having their Personal Assistants and Special Assistants, who they insist on seeing them off up to the aircraft though not travelling with them, would be stopped. 

The Aviation Minister in his statement said, ‘’Henceforth, all VIPs will no longer be permitted to bring non-travelling aides into the Airport Terminals. This especially applies to Governors, Ministers, NASS members, Judiciary and Military officers.’’ 

While speaking on the new procedures during this COVID-19 era, the minister said that mandatory temperature and symptoms checks will be carried out at the airport terminals and frequent washing of hands should be done at the airports. He also said that face masks must be worn at all times inside the airport and airplane and anyone who does not do that will not be allowed inside the airport terminals. 

He pointed out that physical distancing will be maintained at all times just as unruly passengers will not be allowed to board the aircrafts or fly as no pilot will be allowed to fly a plane carrying an unruly passenger. 

He revealed that the processes of compression, heating, cooling and filtration that aircraft cabin air is subjected to, takes out 99.9% of all organisms including viruses etc. that’s why cabin air is safer than most other environments.  

The aviation minister also stated that operators in the aviation sector including airlinesground handling firms and others, will be given loan at 5% interest rate with effect from 2021. He, however, noted that the modalities for the loan is being worked out with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

It can be recalled that Sirika stated this in an interactive session with the senate committee on Aviation where he said that any VIP coming into the airport this time around as a personality, minister or even members of the national assembly will not be carrying their aides into the airports anymore. 

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