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NCAA threatens to withdraw licences of domestic airlines




The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has threatened to withdraw the licences of domestic airlines, if the said airlines fail to sign a Memorandum of Understanding on how to clear their N46bn debt owed to aviation agencies within the period of 30 days, starting from August 30, 2022.

This statement was made in response to a letter from the Airline Operators of Nigeria to the Ministers of Finance and Aviation, accusing the aviation agencies of stifling the growth of the aviation sector through their multiple charges.

The Director-General, NCAA, Musa Nuhu, speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja, said the letter was false and that the charges had not been altered since 2009, but a review would be conducted soon. This development is said to be one that may trigger another hike in airfares.

It was established at the meeting that the domestic airlines owed NCAA N19bn and $7.6m, N18bn to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and N5.73bn to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency. This therefore sums up the domestic airlines’ debt to N45.95bn.

Speaking at the meeting, Nuhu said, “The Minister of Aviation wrote to us about a letter which the airline operators wrote to the minister and it was also part of a meeting they had with the Minister of Finance.

“And basically, it’s (the letter) blaming the aviation agencies, supposedly for multiple charges, creating difficulties for the airlines. We asked, what are these multiple charges? We’ve not charged anything that is not charged in any part of the world.”

The NCAA boss stated that in his response to the letter from the AON, he made it clear that the Ticket Sales Charge and Cargo Sales Charge were statutory charges enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act 2006.

He said “The truth of the matter is that neither the five per cent TSC nor the five per cent CSC is charged or paid by the airlines. Section 12, Subsection 1 of the CAA 2006 is clear that these charges are to be collected from the passengers and on cargo by the airlines and paid to the authorities.

“These charges are not paid by the airlines as claimed by the AON. The airlines are only to collect these charges and pay over to the authority. The TSC and CSC are shared among aviation agencies, namely NAMA, NiMet, NCAT, AIB and NCAA at the pre-determined measure stated in the CAA.

“And these funds are not only meant for the agencies, we pay 25 per cent of it to the consolidated revenue of the federation. So, it is not only the agencies’ money, it is also the Federal Government’s money.”

Nuhu said the NCAA, FAAN and NAMA were not funded by the Federal Government, stressing that they were run on the Internally Generated Revenue from the sector and also made remittances to the Federation Account.

“The TSC paid by passengers contribute almost 85 per cent of NCAA’s IGR. So without the TSC I can’t even sit in this room. The airlines contribute less than 15 per cent of the authority’s IGR as payments fees for services provided to them by the authority on cost recovery basis,” he stated.

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