Days after Nigeria’s highly-contested 2019 presidential election was unexpectedly delayed by the country’s electoral umpire, more facts have continued to emerge about the effects the move had on the economy.
The latest to be affected are airline companies and other affiliated services providers in the aviation industry, who are complaining after the delayed election caused them to lose an estimated N80 billion.
The losses were incurred mainly as a result of rescheduled flights, sources close to the situation said. In specific terms, about 90% of the flights that should have been operated on Saturday were either cancelled or rescheduled due to the last-minute nature of the election postponement.
In other words, the impromptu election delay announcement could not make it any easier for the airlines to fully open up their counters for operation.
A closer look at how Nigerian airlines were affected by the election delay
Dana Air, for instance, was only able to operate two flights on Saturday after cancelling ten others. This information is according to the company’s spokesman.
On the other hand, Air Peace was completely unable to fly on Saturday, only resuming full-time operation on Sunday. A spokesman of the company said they did not know ahead of time that Nigeria’s electoral umpire was going to fix Saturday as election day.
“At the time the flights were scheduled, we did not know the election would be fixed for February 16. While we thought it right to make the sacrifice as part of our contribution to the development and stability of our dear nation, it is unfortunate that the sacrifice eventually amounted to nothing, given the very late postponement of the election.”
Other aviation stakeholders were also affected
The election postponement also affected Government agencies such as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Also, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, which operates the Murtala Muhammed Airport private terminal, was said to have lost as much as N5 billion alongside other catering service providers.
Ground handling firms such as NAHCO and SAHCO were also understandably affected by the shutdown.