Aviation agencies crippled by N36bn airlines debts
*NCAA threatens to ground airlines over the debts
Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Aviation are struggling to survive as local airlines owe them over N36 billon.
All of the agencies, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian meteorological Agency (NiMet0 and the Nigerian College of Aviation technology (NCAT) Zaria are all impacted by the debts.
The NCAA has thus threated to suspend licenses of airlines over the debts if they don’t pay up.
The NCAA also accused the airlines of blackmail and deliberate attempt to cripple its operations.
The NCAA Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at a stakeholders’ meeting with all the airlines and all the aviation agencies.
The NCAA said the local airlines are owing it over N19 billion and $7.6 million on ticket charges they have collected from passengers but have refused to remit to the Authority. The debts also include other charges like parking, and landing charges.
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is also being owed over N5 billion and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is also being owed over N19 billion by the same Nigerian registered airlines. So the airlines collectively owe the agencies N36bn.
The NCAA said this situation is crippling its operations and its no longer able to meet its financial obligations.
He said rather than the airlines think creatively to grow their businesses and the industry, they have targeted the NCAA with campaign of calumny and falsehoods.
The Airlines Operators of Nigeria (AON) an umbrella body for all the airlines operating in Nigerian had accused the NCAA of multiple charges.
Capt, Nuhu also explained that the NCAA charges the airlines just cost recovery charges as the bulk of its revenues comes from the statutory charges on air tickets, bone by customers adding that the airiness deducts the funds, add to their revenues rather than remitting same to the aviation agencies.
He also said their accusations are father from the truth as comparative analysis of charges between Nigeria and Gnana shows that Ghana charges over 100 percent higher in most of the charges. He thus said the NCAA will also review its chares higher as the Authority hasn’t reviewed charges in about 13 years in spite rising cost of service provision.
He said the airlines must, in the next 30 days commit to a payment plan or be suspended.
The airlines must enter an MoU on how they will pay their debts in the next 30 days from August 30th, 2022 or their license will be suspended at the expiration of the deadline he said.
He said the aviation agencies are just as challenged as they also rely on forex to train and procure critical equipment the airiness needs to operate safely.
Responding to the NCAA, the Chief Executive Officer, Executive officer Skye Jet, Kashim Bukar Shettima said the NCAA is also not perfect thus the issues can be resolved amicably.