September 27, 2022

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NIGERIA’S CAA READS RIOT ACT TO DEBTOR AIRLINES

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“What we have said is that if they don’t pay this legacy debt, we are not going to renew their licenses; AOC, ATL. That is one of the conditions and most of them have entered into the agreement”. Capt Musa Shuaibu Nuhu

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has read the riot act to all the chronic debtor airlines on the terms to abide by and continue in service or risk the renewal of critical permits that would deny them continued caressing the skyline.

Capt Nuhu Musa, Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, gave the hint at the sideline of the stakeholders’ parley held in Abuja, Tuesday, with airlines and ground handlers.

He said going forward, the five per cent (5%) Ticket Sales Charge, TSC, and the Cargo Sales Charge, CSC, shall be deducted through a digital banking system that shall instantly capture the 5% from the airlines’ ticket sales deposited with the bank and transferred same instantly to NCAA bank account.

Nuhu said the arrangement is foolproof and will commence immediately. He added that the proceeds shall be shared by NCAA with the other sister agencies on a pre-determined ratio as entrenched in the 2006 Civil Aviation Act.

Capt Nuhu spoke on the legacy debt that, each airline’s debt portfolio will be appraised and the airline will be made to reason with NCAA’s finance and accounts managers on the debt’s fraction that will be religiously serviced monthly.

He explained that such a joint agreement will form the nucleus of the content in the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to be jointly signed by each debtor airline and NCAA.

Nuhu said the regulatory authority resorted to this approach because NCAA is strongly desirous of the airlines to continue growing more robust and for other new ones to come and join the fray and give more options to air travellers and not to deplete them.

The good news the DG volunteered, “I think almost all the airlines are complying with this, except a few that we are working on”.

Should any of the airlines reneges on the agreement, the DG said sanctions accompanied all the agreements reached.

Capt Musa added that reneging would attract the following sanction thus, “what we have said is that if they don’t pay this legacy debt, we are not going to renew their licenses; AOC, ATL. That is one of the conditions and most of them have entered into the agreement”, he said

He reiterated the resolve of the Nigerian CAA to create enabling environment for the airlines to flourish while in the same vein exercising caution for safety never to be compromised.

The DG opined thus, “financial distress in aviation if not managed properly could turn out to be a safety issue because we don’t want airlines to start to cut corners. Those with financial difficulties if you notice, they are delaying flights, cancelling flights, but we need to work with them”, he said.

The Nigerian CAA helmsman however exhibited the sterling quality of a compassionate leader as he sounded emotional thus; “we are all in this together, except where we have serious concerns in the continued existence of the airlines or serious violation, we will work with them hand on hand so that they can be able to get out of this financial challenges they found themselves”.

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