NCAA threatens to sanction domestic airlines over N19 billion debt, issues 30-day ultimatum

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to sanction national airlines for more than N19 billion in debt over ticket sales.

The authority said this Tuesday in Abuja during a meeting organized by the Ministry of Aviation and its agencies with scheduled air operators and ground handlers.

Speaking at the meeting, NCAA chief executive Musa Nuhu said he had called on the airlines to pay their debts.

Nuhu said airlines currently owed about N19 billion in ticket fees collected from passengers, but refused to pay the agency.

He also said sanctions would be taken against any defaulting airline if it refused to pay within a month.

“Airlines must reach a memorandum of understanding on how they will pay their debts within the next 30 days from August 30, 2022, or their license (sic) will be suspended when the deadline expires,” he said. -he declares.

Nuhu said he was unhappy with the recent letter written by the Air Operators of Nigeria (AON) to Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, demanding a review of multiple charges from aviation agencies.

He added that all charges follow best practice as achieved across the country, adding that many neighboring countries charge even more than Nigeria.

“We cannot provide services and you want the government to grant a waiver. How do agencies manage to survive? he said.

“The NCAA feeds on internally generated revenue (IGR) without any money from the federal government.

“We have not increased our charges for 13 years. We still perceive the same charge. So nothing like a burden on airline operators.

For his part, Matthew Pwajok, acting chief executive of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said local airlines should be considerate in their dealings.

According to him, local airlines owed N5.73 billion as of June 30 for both Terminal Navigation Charges (TNC) and En Route Navigation Charges (ENC).

He added that domestic airlines were also indebted to NAMA on international operations to the tune of $9,086,401.78 as of June 30.

Pwajok said the agency can suspend the provision of its services to any airline that is still owed and refuses to pay on time.

“NAMA is 100% self-funded from its internally generated revenue for salaries, operating costs, training and capital projects, and 25% of revenue generated by the agency is deducted at source by the federal government,” he added.

Also speaking on the matter, Rabiu Yadudu, Chief Executive of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), said such debts will go a long way to improving standards at airports.

He also urged the AON to strengthen its collaboration with aviation agencies to collectively develop the industry.

“Sit down to work together will quickly contribute to the growth of the aviation sector. No airline has ever come to FAAN and been turned away by FAAN. We reason together,” Yadudu said.

“Collaboration is the way of the aviation industry. There is absolutely no reason to undermine each other. We need each other. We must respect and protect each other.

Responding to the call, Kashim Shettima, managing director of Skye Jet, said the NCAA was also not “perfect” and that the issues raised could be resolved amicably.

“Yes, airlines owe money, but they are also deeply challenged because they cannot get fuel or freely access dollars. They buy dollars on the black market. We must come together to solve our problems,” he said.

In addition, Allen Onyema, Vice President of AON and CEO of Air Peace, called on all domestic airlines indebted to any of the aviation agencies to pay their debts.

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