MANAGING Director Centurion Securities, Group Captain John Ojikutu is again cautioning the government over how it plans to disburse whatever palliatives it intends to give aviation industry operators calling for them to check the actual numbers and be sure there is accuracy and consistency with previous years.
This is following all the numbers being reeled out as losses from all corners of the industry from airline operators, private charter operators, travel agencies, ground handlers oil marketers and others.
Ojikutu who is also Secretary General of the Aviation Round Table Safety Initiative (ART) wondered how domestic operators could claimed losses of N360billion in three months as the figures do not tarry with what the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) got in terms of 5% Ticket sales Charge (TSC) in previous years.
He also criticized the US$5 billion in three months announced by private charter operators, querying what the NCAA got from it as sales.
Ojikutu further argued that the NCAA has never recorded N200billion as domestic sales between 2016 – 2018 neither has the regulator recorded N500billion in international ticket sales in the last 12 months.
He said, “Just before the government ventures into the anticipated palliatives for the civil aviation operators, we need to carefully ensure that some of the operators are not getting sleazy to luring slush funds from government as palliatives. Hear these:
“Domestic airlines lost N360bn to covid19 in three months!! How much would they have made in 12 months or how much did they make in 2019, 2018 or 2017? How much did the NCAA get from them as 5% TSC in any of these years? The NCAA has never recorded up to N200bn as domestic tickets sales in any year between 2016 to 2018 and the highest recorded tickets sales for international passengers tickets sales in 12 months has not been higher than #500bn in any year before now.
“Private aircraft operators are also reporting loss of $5bn or N2trn in 3 months!! Again, how much would they be expected to make in 12 months or how much did they make in 2018 or 2019 and how much did the NCAA get from them as 5% on the chartered flights changes?”
He further queried debts of some of the airlines asking if these are reflected in the operators’ balance sheet.
“The aviation oil marketers are reporting debts of #4.4trn!!! Are these debts owed to the marketers by the airlines operators or the debts are owed by the oil marketers? If the amount is owed by the airlines operators to the marketers, are they reflected in the operators’ balance sheets in the NCAA mandatory economic audit reports?
“ As against these sleazy airlines revenues, NANTA reported in one of the years between 2016 and 2018 that it sold over #800bn worth of tickets and IATA same year said aviation in Nigeria contributed over $8bn to our GDP. I reasoned that year from the NCAA figures of 2m and 5m international and domestic passengers sold tickets respectively that year, private chartered flights and cargo, not less than $5bn could come from the IATA figures but not reflected in the NCAA earnings and the NBS figures on the GDP.
“Outside the aviation sector, the Power Distribution Companies too are asking government for about #200bn as fees for 3 months free power supply to about 5m consumers including manufacturing industries and government establishments. These companies, about 12, reported less #500bn revenues in 12 months last year.
Finally, he cautioned on the role of the banks as they have been reporting profits in Q1 of 2020 but the airlines are making loses in the same economy
According to him, something is wrong and the NBS needs to do a lot of vigil to find out where the bank profits are coming from. “Twice they have been involved in aviation intervention funds which rather than help the industry, has created more problems for the industry. Let them not come in without sufficiently explain the sources of their profits. “