The Nigerian Government has assured workers of embattled Aero Contractors that none of them will lose their jobs as a result of the suspension of flights by the airline.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, gave the assurance when he addressed protesting workers in Lagos on Friday.
The workers had occupied the airline’s headquarters in Lagos to protest the indefinite leave given to them.
Sirika told the workers that he would meet with Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Aero Contractors and would get back to the workers on Monday.
He also promised the protesting workers that the government would ensure that the airline would be restructured.
The minister said the Federal Government would ensure that the problems bedeviling the airline was looked into.
According to him, it is the duty of the Federal Government to create jobs, hence, it will not allow any business entity in the aviation industry under his leadership to go under.
“I have decided to come and see Aero and probably discuss a few issues with the management and possibly see the staff.
“But unfortunately, I came here and saw that there is a protest going on. So, I had to stop by, listened, discussed and came to an agreement.
“The primary purpose of government, especially this APC government, is to help to promote sustain, develop, keep businesses so that they can continue to provide services and employ our people.
“So, it is not the government of APC that will kill jobs and close down shops; our intent is to promote jobs and promote businesses in Nigeria so that businesses will be growing,” he said.
Sirika said the workers had the right to protest and as such they could not just be relieved of their jobs.
He assured them that the government would address the issues affecting the airline to make it functional again.
“I have appealed to the staff and they have agreed that we will reconvene here on Monday and listen to each other and also develop a road map and agree on what to do to rejuvenate the airline, being a premier company in this country,” he said.
Sirika also noted that though AMCON which took over the airline because of the toxic loans it owed banks, but that the decision of the government agency was not out of place as its mission was to sustain the airline.
The minister said that now that the airline was under threat, the present government would ensure that the airline was revived to continue to serve the public and keep its workers.