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Airlines Debtor: NCAA Issues 14-day Ultimatum

Chinedu Eze
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has given a 14-day ultimatum to airlines that have refused to remit the five per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC).
It also threatened to ground their operations after the deadline.
It is the funds accruing from the TSC that are used to sustain the activities of NCAA and part of it is shared by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), the Nigeria College of Aviation Technological Agency (NCAT) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
THISDAY learnt that foreign airlines that fly into the country pay their charges when due but almost all the domestic carriers delay their payments and the debts have risen to over N9 billion in the last four years.
The airlines also owed Cargo Sales Charge also amounting to huge debts.
In a final notice to all airline operators, NCAA said failure to comply with the directive of remittance of the outstanding payments; “the Authority shall enforce the provisions of section 27(3) of the Civil Aviation Act.”
In a statement signed by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Fan Ndubuoke, NCAA said it would therefore “take all measures contained therein to enforce the collection of the debts. 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 would be included in the publication upon the expiration of this ultimatum.
“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 agency also reiterated to the airlines that section 12(1) of the Civil Aviation Act.2006 provides that “there shall continue to be a five per cent air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid over to the authority.
“Importantly, the authority wishes to inform the general public that the five 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,” the statement said.
NCAA said it would continue to implement the “no payment no service” financial policy to ensure complete clearance of the indebtedness to the authority.  

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