Debt Recovery Drive: NCAA To Sanction Airlines Over N22bn Obligations

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said it has concluded plans to embark on recovery drive of over N22 billion owed aviation agencies by indigenous carriers in the last 20 years. The move by the regulatory body would lead to disruption in air services at airports nationwide.

NCAA’s Director-General, Capt. Musa Nuhu, who made this known in Abuja at a stakeholders and general public hearing on the repeal and enactment of civil aviation bills of aviation agencies, said this option was the only way to compel the airlines to pay their debts.

He decried the attitude of many of the airlines that failed to remit what they collected as five per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and Passenger Service Charge (PSC) collected on behalf of the agencies. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had on Monday put the debts of Nigerian airlines over the last 10 years to aviation agencies at $6.9 million and N19.6 billion (N22.2 billion).

Nuhu said: “We are going to start taking action and implement actions to recover most of the money. We have started action last week on airlines that owe us. The irony is that these are taxes the airlines collected from the passengers. These are not their money. They collected but refused to remit.

“We have also heard that the government has refused to assist the carriers. We all remember that in 2011, the airlines received close to N200billion. They are yet to pay back. If foreign airlines are not paying, why are our own airlines not paying?

Earlier, Sirika elaborated on some of the charges the carriers described as ‘too many’ and not in the interest of the carriers, saying these charges had been in existence for so long and enshrined in the country’s constitution.

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