Ben Murray-Bruce, the Senator representing Bayelsa East senatorial district, has said that people will die as a result of a plane crash, if the Senate does not take immediate action concerning urgent issues in the aviation industry.
Senator Ben Bruce made this known during Senate plenary session on Thursday, January 12.
While speaking on the alleged deteriorating state of the aviation industry in Nigeria, Senator Bruce moved a motion in favour of lesser taxes, regulations and reduced government interference in airline operations in the country.
The outspoken Senator said airports are nothing but malls and can be self-financed by private sectors better. He said the Government does not need money to borrow to maintain or build airports.
“Airlines can be profitable if government will stop interfering in the way they are run.
He lamented the heavy tax system imposed on airlines. He compared Nigeria’s airline tax which is at 40% to that of other countries which are usually between 5 -10% “We are taxing the airlines to death, taxes should not be more than 5 or 10 percentage like in other countries but we charge about 40%.
He added: “You cannot regulate the prices of tickets; this way you guarantee they don’t make profits therefore their services will be reduced. “No airline will delay u for eight hours unless they do not have finances to buy fuel, pay pilots and other services.”
He further urged the Senate to take the motion seriously, as hindrance to take action will lead to an accident which will lead to loss of so many lives.
“This motion is serious because an accident is about to happen, a plane will crash people will die. I urge my colleagues to take this motion seriously find a way to work with the airlines not to kill them and find a way to make this motion productive and make it possible for them to be successful so we can live.”
Meanwhile, the minister of transport Rotimi Amaechi and his counterpart from the aviation ministry Senator Hadi Sirika appeared before the Senate on Thursday to address the lawmakers on the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Recall that the Senate had on Tuesday, January 10, kicked against the planned closure of the Abuja airport over repairs on its runway and the diversion of flights to the Kaduna airport.