At least 70 pilots have been sacked at one of Nigeria’s main
airlines, Air Peace, in a restructuring which the company says became important
in order for the company to stay afloat.
The airline said it had two options: Either to sack and reduce the salaries of staff members who remained or be unable to pay salaries and fulfil other
financial responsibilities. It chose the former.
Few weeks ago, the airline’s boss, Allen
Onyema, called on the government to provide the aviation industry with
bailouts to enable airlines stay afloat.
But airlines have not been included in the government’s $6bn (£43bn) Covid-19 stimulus plan which would see various sectors of the economy given
access to loans to lessen effects of the pandemic.
A statement from Air Peace spokesperson, Stanley
Olisa, said the review was first done in terms of pay cuts of between zero to 40% depending on the salary grades. But that was not enough to help the airline.
Even though domestic air travel has now reopened in Nigeria,
the damage is already done.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) had said that for each month the
aviation sector was closed, the industry in Nigeria was losing $77m.
South African supermarket chain, Shoprite, says it is considering discontinuing its operations in Nigeria.
The retail giant which entered the Nigerian market in 2005, said it will consider to "sell all, or a majority stake" of its retail operations in the West African country.
In a statement released on Monday detailing its 2019 financial year that ended in June, the company said the decision was made “following approaches from various potential investors, and in line with our re-evaluation of the group’s operating model in Nigeria”.
It added that "Retail Supermarkets Nigeria Limited may be classified as a discontinued operation when Shoprite reports its results for the year."
Shoprite said lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus had impacted its operations in 14 African countries were sales declined by 1.4%, but its South African operations witnessed “significant growth”.
The retailer has also been battling currency-induced inflation surges especially in Nigeria were it was hit hardest.
South African retailers have struggled in Nigeria, Africa's largest economy, and if it leaves, Shoprite will join clothing outlets - Mr Price and Woolworths who exited the West African country after failing to get a foothold.
Last year, some branches of the supermarket in Nigeria were targeted as young people, allegedly motivated by a need for revenge, and fuelled by fake videos and photos of xenophobic attacks on social media, started looting and burning South African businesses.