FOLLOWING arguments put forward by an aviation stakeholder questioning the figures put forward by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the back and forth argument on the figures have ensued.
Reacting to recent publications about disparities in the figures, the NCAA has reaffirmed the sanctity of the recently released statistical data on the aviation industry stating that they are verifiable and no amount of push and shove can cast aspersion on our figures.
Of recent, Group Captain John Ojikutu, Secretary of the Aviation Round Table (ART) at the think-tank’s breakfast meeting put the figures under scrutiny, however, the regulator insists that the system and processes of generating and gathering data are in line with best practices and international standards.
The NCAA, in a recent statement signed by its spokesman, Sam Adurgboye, advised stakeholders and the public to resist all attempts to create confusion and cast doubts on the figures. This is clearly a result of crass ignorance and the purveyors being too clever by half.
The process of generating data is as stipulated in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 Part 18.12.5. “all domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the Authority through an electronic platform provided by the Authority, all relevant documents such as flown coupons, passenger or cargo manifests, air waybills, load sheets, clients’ service invoices and other documents necessary for accurate billing within forty-eight (48) hours after each flight.”
In addition, as part of the billing requirements, the Authority collects billable data from airlines, photocopy of flown coupons and Post Departure Manifest (PDM) of international flight operations. All these are International Air Transport Association (IATA) documents which NCAA cannot influence.
The Flown Coupons contain specific information required by IATA before billings are done and issued. These are Ticket Number, Name of Passenger, Ticket Sales Charge (NG) etc. It is noteworthy that the prerequisite NCAA 5% TSC paid by passengers is indicated on the ticket. These data are warehoused by NCAA and can be verified.
The domestic billing process requires the airline to submit to the Authority its Passenger Departure Manifest (PDM) immediately after every flight departure. It is from the filed fares that 5% TSC is calculated. The Automated Integrated System therefore ensures authenticity between NCAA server and airlines.
Similarly, the process of billing 5% Cargo Sales Charge (CSC) requires the airline to submit Airway bill in accordance to the Nig.CARs.The weight and rate stated on the Airway bill is used in the calculation of the CSC.
However, it is pertinent to state that the statistics available for 5% CSC is not the same as the harmonised figures. Cargo data captures the total weight of the cargo (import and export) while NCAA chargeable weight is on export cargo only.
Please note that foreign airlines with Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) do not pay royalty on cargo airlift, though the cargo weights are captured but not billable.
Furthermore, the Authority authenticates the automated data output with the hard copy data submitted by the airlines. This serves as verification and determination of the actual flown passengers.
The following categories are non revenue passengers and are therefore exempted from 5% TSC calculation. These are Diplomats, Infants less than 2(two) years. Those whose journeys do not originate from Nigeria (ticket sold offshore).
In ticket sales there are promotional, discounted, staff and low season’s fares. It is the aggregate of these that mischief makers sum up and begin to tout figures.
Airline fares are not constant and they are dissimilar across routes and continental distances. It is therefore preposterous for anyone to attach the same fare to all passengers as the confusionists have done.
It is absolutely impossible for any airline to remit 5% TSC on passengers not flown. The airlines carry out a scrutiny of NCAA billing using their flown coupons before remittances of sales charge to NCAA.
On international flights, IATA provides support via Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) through its Clearing House, verification and direct collection of 5% TSC. All the above processes attest to the sanctity of our figures.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will continue to ensure due diligence in data collation. This prevalent distraction will not deter the Regulatory Authority from providing a robust regulation that will engender safe and secure airline operations.