Nigeria’s domestic airlines operators we gather, have reached an agreement with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on how to defray the N22 billion debt they owe to aviation agencies.
Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of the NCAA, made this disclosure in Lagos on Thursday when the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation did oversight of the agency.
It would be recalled that the minister of aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, had at recent public hearing in Abuja revealed that local airlines’ total debts to the aviation agencies stood at N22 billion. He gave the breakdown as N19.37 billion and $6,993,284 million (N2.7 billion) as unremitted ticket sales charge (TSC), and cargo sales charge (CSC) collected on behalf of the NCAA and the other sister parastatals.
The DG said NCAA had struck a compromise with the debtor airlines to ensure the debts are reconciled and payment plan favourable to all the parties agreed. He said he was however mindful of the difficulty brought by the coronavirus pandemic but maintained the payment plan had taken the interests of the debtors and creditors into consideration adding that plan was underway to set up five regional offices between 2020 and 2024.
“We are empowering five regional offices to ensure the job in smaller areas gets done and they do not have to refer to Lagos or Abuja. It brings regulation closer to the operators outside Lagos and Abuja opening more regional offices in the far reaches of the country.
“Already Port Harcourt takes care of the southeast and south-south; but we are looking at opening a regional office in Enugu for the southeast. We are looking at another one in either Maiduguri or Yola for the northeast, Ilorin for the middle-belt and Uyo or Calabar for the south-south,” he said.
In his remarks, the chairman House Committee on Aviation, Mr. Nnolim Nnaji said the House was on its oversight function and would look at what the NCAA had done and intended to do with its allocation and what would be allocated to it.