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Multiple charges, pulling down airlines in Nigeria-Aviation C’tte

ANTHONY OMOH
Ministerial Committee on Aeronautical Charges  set up by Minister of Aviation ,Chief Osita Chidoka has identified and called for the merging and revocation of multiple  and arbitrary charges respectively imposed on airlines by aviation agencies  stating that they are not helpful to the airlines’ growth.
Speaking at a forum Aviation Commits, a compendium of the industry‘s commitments, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Ahonsi Inuigbe  stated that  the committee discovered  that there are over 50 different charges imposed by the three main Aviation Ministry agencies, which in some instances, are charged by the different agencies for the same services .
This, the committee agreed, is impeding the growth of the airlines and the ability to keep track of what to and what not to pay.
He gave example of the imposition of both port charges, as well as cargo charges by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the same cargo.
The Chairman explained that  navigational related charges such as  En-route Navigational Charge and Terminal Navigational Charge; collected from  airlines by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA)should be harmonised to into a single charge to be renamed as navigational charge.
Unuigbe also stated that the committee has recommended that   Violation of Airspace Fines should be merged with violation of Air Navigation Regulations.
He said that the committee recommended the scrapping of the duplication of Contractor Registration Fees by charged contractors by NAMA, as according to him, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), also charged contractors the same fees.
On the way forward, he said that the committee recommended that instead the fees should be charged and centrally controlled by NCAA as going forward
On passenger ticket charges, he stated the committee discovered that the basis of some of these charges, is not known and that it is quite arbitrary.
He for instance, the committee analysed the basis of computation of passenger tickets for four domestic airlines namely, Arik, Dana, Medview and First Nation and that the analysis shows that an amount ranging from 40 per cent to 65 per cent of the airfare is hidden as fuel surcharge.
The Ministerial Committee Chairman pointed out that the computation of this fuel surcharge is unknown to both passengers and government, adding that this cost element has been omitted by the airlines in the computation of both Value Added Tax (VAT) and Ticket Sales Charge (TSA) resulting in significant loss of revenue to the Federal Government.
According to the Committee, “There is also a prevalence of inaccurate computation of statutory charges and non-remittance of the passenger charges collected by airlines to appropriate aviation authorities. 
From the tickets analysed, some airline operators deliberately charge as high as 9 per cent of Base fare as Ticket Sales Charge as against the statutory 5 per cent expected to be remitted to the government through NCAA.
One has to wonder the motivation for this act and if the statutory charge in question, will be appropriately remitted to the relevant government agency or rather, constitute part of the profitability of such airlines at the expense of both the passengers and government
Recall that in November 2014, Chidoka set up a Ministerial Committee on Aeronautical Charges, headed by Mr Ahonsi  Unuigbe  to  among other terms of reference collate all Nigerian aviation industry aeronautical and  non-aeronautical charges.

Other terms of reference include benchmarking of these charges with global best practices, especially with those countries with similar regional conditions and to also determine of factors responsible for the disparity between the aeronautical (including passenger) charges.

About anthony omoh

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I am a Journalist with a passion for developmental stories and nigerianflightdeck.com was born out of passion for reporting the travel, business and aviation sub-sector. This site is an expression of my ideals and creativity as a reporter and my discretion as a publisher. I am extremely content doing this and I am sure when you read my stories you'd understand that I touch people and that's why

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