As the public hearing to review the Acts establishing aviation agencies organized by the National Assembly begins today, the Aviation Minister, Senator, Hadi Sirika has disclosed that the airline operators owe the agencies the sum of $6, 993, 284 million and N19, 365, 374,336 billion being the total amount of Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargoes Sales Charge(CSC) collected on behalf of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA ), which airlines have refused to remit.
The disclosure by the minister followed a position by the Airline Operators of Nigeria’s (AON) represented by a lawyer, Mrs. Chinasa Unaegbunam, calling on the National Assembly to amend Clause 23 of the Civil Aviation Act and slash the 5 percent TSC/CSC.
She also suggested that AON should be included as a member of the governing board of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), as according to her, the inclusion will give the airline umbrella body a voice
Sirika said that the money owed was not charged as erroneously stated by the learned lady but a charge collected by airlines on behalf of NCAA which were not remitted.
AON, the Minister explained presently owes $6, 993, 284 million and N19, 365, 374,336 billion on the 5 percent shared by NCAA, the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA), the Accident Investigation Bureau ( AIB). Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), adding that presently
He added that plan is in the pipeline to adjust the sharing formula but as it is today, the NCAA gets the lion share with 56 percent, NAMA 22 percent, NiMET 9 percent, NCAT-7 percent, and AIB 6 percent .
However, the former Director-General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren appealed to the National Assembly not to reduce the percentage currently being enjoyed by the NCAA.
He said that the NCAA must be buoyant to be autonomous and regulate the industry effectively.
Demuren said that what he said is also the position of the two other past director generals of NCAA; Engr. Fidelis Onyeyiri and Capt. Usman Muktar has agreed; that NCAA’s share of the TSC/CSC should not be reduced.
He informed the gathering that TSC/ CSC was initially for NCAA and NAMA but that later it was extended to other agencies in the sector.
On his part, the Secretary of Aviation Round Table(ART)Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu said that the airlines have no right to withhold the TSC/CSC they collected from passengers on behalf of NCAA, accusing the airlines of being part of the problem the industry currently has.
Ojikutu also called for a review of the sharing formula of the 5 percent TSC/CSC.
Recalled that section 12 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 says that there shall continue to be a five percent air ticket contract, charter, and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid over to the Authority.