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I can’t regulate airfares – Minister

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, on Thursday said he was not in a position to regulate the airfares for airlines operators.

He stated this when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation to brief the senators on the level of the sector’s preparedness to begin flight operations on July 8.

He said, “Price is not in my hand but like I said from what we put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to fly.”

The minister said necessary protocols had been put in place to ensure social distancing within the airport premises and inside the aircraft.

Speaking on the safety of the aircrafts, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, said necessary arrangements had been perfected to ensure that the planes were in good condition even during the lockdown.

In another development, the Federal Government said airlines were allowed to disinfect their aircraft themselves for safety and efficiency reasons.

The Minister of Environment, Muhammad Mahmood, gave the explanation at Thursday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

He said, “So the airlines decided to contact their manufacturers and by that way they will just have to do their own decontamination and disinfection. This was for two reasons.

“One, it was because of getting the specification from the manufacturer. Secondly, it was for the purpose of additional security and safety on their own equipment.”

On the two aircraft that were earlier disinfected by government, the minister said the airplanes were used for cargo operations.

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