Over recent months, there has been a shortage of foreign exchange in Nigeria as the collapse ion global oil prices to below $40 a barrel from over $100 last year has created a cashflow crisis. Foreign airlines who charge for tickets in both foreign exchange and naira, have been hard hit by the shortage and are expected to reduce costs to cope with the problem.
According to the National Union of Air Transport Employees (Nuate), the airlines claimed the redundancies are necessary because of their inability to transfer earnings to their respective home countries. Apparently, the airlines are now struggling with operational costs in accordance with international rules.
In a letter addressed to the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, Naute’s acting general secretary Comrade Olayinka Abioye said the plan has destabilise the affected workers. He called on the federal government to wade in and prevent the huge job losses because of the socio-economic impact it would have.
Comrade Abioye said: “The reason being adduced for this danger is that their earnings in the past year is under lock with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as they are unable to transfer these earnings to their respective home countries to meet operational costs in accordance with international rules. Following concerns raised recently by leaders of these workers and other stakeholders and in appreciation of the good intent of the government’s fiscal policy, we humbly make this clarion call for your intervention to grant foreign airlines concession to repatriate their proceeds to their home countries.”
He added that should the foreign airlines go ahead with the sacking of the workers it would not be in the interest of the aviation sector and Nigeria as a whole. Comrade Abioye called on Senator Sirika to intervene and prevent the job losses.