Nigeria Plan To Suspend 23 Domestic Airlines Due To Debt Of $46 Billion
Unless the debts are paid, the agencies say, the economy might completely collapse.
By Omotayo Olutekunbi
In response to the sector’s outstanding debt of $46 billion, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has threatened to ban no fewer than 23 domestic airlines.
The airlines owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, respectively, amounts of N18 billion and N5 billion for the statutory five percent ticket sales charge and cargo sales charge (TSC/CSC) levied by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
According to the agencies, if the debts are not paid off, the industry, which is already fighting to stay afloat owing to increases in aviation fuel and other factors, might completely collapse.
Musa Nuhu, the Director General of NCAA, gave the operators one month to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the organization, which would outline the repayment plans for their debts to the organization, at a stakeholder meeting with indigenous airlines and ground handling companies yesterday in Abuja.
He expressed displeasure over a letter sent to Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, on August 8, 2022, from the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, which accused the agencies, particularly the NCAA, of pressuring the operators through multiple charges. The letter was signed by Alhaji Abdulmunaf Yunusa, the President of AON.
He emphasized that all of the fees collected by the NCAA were statutory and compliant with the Civil Aviation Act 2006 and said that the airlines and the whole aviation sector were going through a particularly tough moment.
As of October 4, 2022, Delta Air Line has announced that it would stop operating flights between New York-JFK and Lagos.
The airline said Monday that it would end its nonstop service due to the “current demand climate.”
However, Delta said that its flights from Lagos to Atlanta will provide connections to New York and other American destinations.
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