Two weeks after the federal government extended the ban on flight operations across the country as a measure to check the spread of COVID-19, Some Key political figures are feeling the hit of the lockdown operations.
Naija News understands that the Cross River State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade is one of the popular political elite that has begged for President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to ease the ban operation on domestic and local flight operations across the country.
Speaking While, inspecting the ongoing asphalting of the dualized Odukpani-Calabar highway in the state, Ayade opposed the continued closure of Nigeria’s domestic airspace, lamenting its negative impact on the aviation, hospitality and tourism sectors of the economy.
“The suspension of domestic flights has affected most hotels, leading to their closure. It is so bad that most hotels including the five-star hotels are shutting down because they cannot even sustain the cost of diesel for their generating sets and as that happens, they start laying off workers,” he said.
“So, you have a lot of workers, young people who used to work in the hotels and the tourism industry, out of jobs. And the big question is, how long can this continue? The caterers who supply food to the hotels are all out of business. All the suppliers are out of business.
“So, as we continue to lock the domestic airports for another four weeks, what we are going to have in terms of economic loss, and in terms of social delinquency, the associated moral and social tension that will come with it, will be just too huge for the country to bear.”
Ayade said rather than ban domestic flights, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) should devise strict guidelines to enable the aviation sector to continue to operate without escalating the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.