By Louis Iba
All is not well with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as a huge debt owed the regulatory agency appears to be hampering the discharge of some of its statutory duties in the industry.
The debt is estimated to be running into billions of naira and is also affecting the agencies like the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) who all share out of the 5 per cent Ticket Service Charge (TSC) and Cargo Service Charge (CSC), which most airlines have refused to pay.
Weighed down by the debt, NCAA yesterday read a riot act to all debtor airlines who had demonstrated apathy in remitting the five per cent TSC and CSC to it.
In a final notice to all airline operators, the regulatory authority has issued a 14-day ultimatum to erring airlines. Fan Ndubuoke, spokesperson for NCAA, in a statement said failure to comply with the directive of remittance of the outstanding payments will compel the authority to enforce the provisions of Section 27(3) of the Civil Aviation Act.
“NCAA will therefore take all measures contained therein to enforce the collection of the debts,” he said.
He said, in addition, the names of the debtor airlines and amount owed shall be published in at least five national dailies.
“The names of the promoters of these airlines, directors and other related parties will be included in the publication upon the expiration of this ultimatum,” he stated.
“These measures will be taken in furtherance to the Federal Government’s directives on recovery of public debt. It is to be noted that the offending airlines have failed to offset the accumulated debts despite several appeals, reconciliation meetings, visits and reminders.”
“The NCAA wishes to reiterate to the airlines that Section 12(1) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 provides that “there shall continue to be a 5 per cent air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid over to the authority,” he added.
Importantly, the authority wishes to inform the general public that the 5 per cent Ticket/Cargo Sales Charge represents charges collected at source from the travelling public by airlines on behalf of the civil aviation agencies. However, its non-remittance as at when due is tantamount to a breach of trust and a violation of the above provision.
Therefore, the authority is issuing the ultimatum to the operators who have collected but failed to remit same to the authority to do that within 30 days.
Source : SunOnline