The body made this known in a statement signed by its Chairman, Captain Noggie Meggison while appreciating governments’ efforts at genuinely looking into the plight of commercial airlines in the country.
The statement in part read,” The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) wishes to thank the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) for keying into the importance of aviation as one of the key drivers for economic recovery and its critical role of making Nigeria the pivot of air transportation in Africa.”
“We also commend the government for graciously identifying with the pains of the Nigerian travelling public by extending its support for commercial airlines in the country and reaffirming the Zero Duty and VAT payment on the importation of commercial airplanes and its spare parts as a way of alleviating the cost burden and ensuring safe flight operations.
The clarification on the Zero Duty and VAT was contained in a letter dated 20th June, 2016 and signed by the Nigeria Customs Service. It stated inter alia that: “I am directed to inform you that by virtue of the Federal Government 2013 Fiscal Policy measures, Ref No. BD.12237/S.1008/T/11 dated 15th January, 2013. All Commercial Aircraft and its Spare Parts imported for use in Nigeria shall attract import duty rate of zero per cent (0%) and zero per cent (0%) VAT respectively.”
Furthermore, the letter stated that: “I am further directed to inform you that the Honourable Minister of Finance letter Ref. No. BD/FP/TT/50/1/113 dated 20th March, 2015. Approval for the implementation of the ECOWAS Common External Tariff (CET) 2015 – 2019 and 2015 Fiscal Policy measures (National List) confirmed the extension of the 2013 Fiscal Policy measures.”
The Chairman of AON, Captain Nogie Meggison noted that the unprecedented move was a welcome development and a strong testament to the commitment of the Minister of State Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration for feeling the pulse of the masses and making good on his promise to work assiduously to ensure that aviation doesn’t go out of the reach of the common man by giving it the attention it rightly deserves.
“AON would like to thank the Federal Government of Nigeria for giving a listening ear to our persistent calls for the removal of Duty and VAT on the importation of commercial aircraft and its parts as is done in other parts of the world. This is a welcome development and we commend the government for showing maturity and understanding of the critical role that aviation plays in driving the Nigerian economy thereby supporting Nigerian airlines, promoting safety and sustaining jobs,” Capt. Meggison stressed,” adding that: “The gesture was extended specifically to commercial aircraft operators and not private jet operators who are required to pay for luxury taxes.”