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Fresh controversy trails N400b shortfall in aviation revenue

2018-06-20 04:42:00
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A fresh controversy has emerged over the total number of passengers that travelled the Nigerian airspace and ticket fares generated in 2016 and 2017, especially the harmonised figures recently released by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).The apex regulatory body disclosed 15 million international and local passengers in 2016, with a total of N422.4 billion in ticket sales.2017 recorded 14.1 million passengers, with N505 billion in ticket sales.Stakeholders, however, faulted the new revenue estimates, alleging a shortfall in excess of N400 billion in the two years under review, with attendant shortchange of the mandatory five per cent charges that go to five regulatory agencies from ticket sales.The stakeholders, who blamed under-disclosure of earnings as one of the reasons for the poor funding of the critical agencies, urged the Minister of State for Aviation, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the National Assembly Aviation Committees to separately set up investigation panels to look into the issues.By statutes in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Acts (CAA) 2006, the NCAA is tasked in part 12 (1) to collect, on behalf of itself and four aviation agencies, five per cent charges on all airlines passengers’ ticket sales, air chartered services charges, cargo freight charges and so on.The collection is for the security of infrastructural systems, and services and human capital development of related operations in the aviation sector.The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), for instance, gets 23 per cent of the five per cent collection; Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) gets three per cent; Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) is allotted seven per cent; and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) shares nine per cent. The rest is allocated to NCAA.In the wake of the furore that greeted the discrepancies between the NCAA’s estimates and those of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS)/Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for 2017, the NCAA came up with harmonised figures.
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