Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has concluded plans to henceforth clip the wings of many of the airlines who continue to default in the remittance of the five per cent Passengers Service Charges (PSC) and the Passenger Service Charges (PSC) they collect on behalf of the regulatory body and other sister agencies.
The minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika declared that the domestic airlines are indebted to the aviation agencies to the tune of $6.9 million and N19.3 billion.
He disclosed this while Speaking at the recently concluded three days public hearing on the repeal and enactment of civil aviation bills of all the aviation agencies in Abuja, Captain Musa Nuhu, the Director General of the NCAA, declared the intention of the authority to enforce the remittance of the five per cent charges.
According to the Director General, many of the airlines refused to join the payment portal in order not to remit the passenger charges and several efforts made by the authority to make the airlines remit the huge funds they have generated on behalf of the agencies through the introduction of a payment portal did not yield positive change.
The NCAA D.G, while describing the claim by the airlines that they have been paying the charges as false, said the airlines were asked to collect the charges from passengers on behalf of the agencies so the passengers would not be overs-stretched through the creation of another platform for them to pay into differently from paying for ticket charges.
While insisting that the regulatory body was set to embark on the recovery of the accumulated huge amount which has been owed by both the non existing and existing airlines for a period of over 20 years.
“We are going to start taking action and implement actions to recover most of the monies. 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”.Nuhu said
“We have also heard that the government has refused to assist the carriers. We all remember that in 2011, the airlines received close to N200 billion. They are yet to pay back. If foreign airlines are paying, why are our own airlines not paying?
“We have created a portal but they have refused to join the portal so that the monies cannot be deducted from the source. Only a few of them have joined. We have started implementing the policy which they must all comply with. We are not going to give them our services, we have started implementing that”.
A Former Director General of the NCAA, Dr Segun Harold Demuren in his presentation, agreed that the airlines were going through challenges, he advised them to help themselves.
“You as airlines must have corporate governance, you must pay your bills. You can collect money on behalf of the agencies and say you will not pay, if you do that you will be sanctioned. Many at times, when the erring airlines are held, they run to the minister to come and assist. I think it’s very important that we all agree that we need to support the airlines”. He said
He used the medium to declare the total support for the NCAA as the sole regulatory body that should speak on behalf of the sector saying: “Once you get it right with the NCAA the other rest will solve itself. We are complaining that there are too many charges, the NCAA has power to review the charges.
“The five percent TSC money initially was for NCAA and NAMA but over the years, NIMET has got, AIB and NCAT have also got. Don’t take it beyond that please, don’t take away the 58 per cent shares of the NCAA from it. The NCAA needs to be strong, it needs to work, it needs to make Nigeria’s aviation safe. They need money to carry out its oversight safety functions.”