The Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines Limited, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, has said the Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) had not started enjoying the palliatives promised by the federal government to cushion the effect of the high cost of aviation fuel currently crippling the industry.

Obiora stated this in an interview with journalists in Abuja, after his investiture as the National Grand Patron of Ndigboamaka Progressive Market Association.

The group is the umbrella organisation of all Igbo traders in the 58 markets in Lagos State.

He said the AON had suspended its industrial action following government’s promise that measures that would cushion the effect of the aviation fuel scarcity and skyrocketed price, would be put in place.

He added that the measures promised by the government were still at the implementation stage at the moment.

He nevertheless expressed optimism that the government would soon start the implementation of the palliative measures.

Okonkwo added, “Nothing much has changed except that the government of the day was very magnanimous, kind, listened to us (airline operators) and put a lot of things in motion to sustain the impact of the aviation fuel price increase.

“We are very happy and grateful to them but the truth of the situation is that those initiatives taken are still at implementation stage. It has not been fully implemented, so we see not feeling the impacts yet.

“The aviation fuel has continued to rise but I can tell you that some of those promises have been implemented and the impacts we hope we will feel soon.

“For that reason, the aviation industry continues to struggle. But we thank the traveling public for their understanding.”

He commended the leadership of the umbrella body of the Igbo traders in Lagos State for it’s good gesture despite the fact that he did not pay them to do so.

He said, “People should be recognised based on their contribution to the society and their integrity instead of giving awards the highest bidder.

The Secretary General of the apex Igbo traders organisation, Chinedu Ukatu, carried out the investiture on behalf of the group.

Ukatu said Obiora was recognised based on his invaluable contributions to the development of the association.

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