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NAMA boss charges airline operators to embrace cashless policy

Chukwuemeke Iwelunmo

The managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Capt Fola Akinkuotu, says there is no going back on the cashless policy of the Federal Government in a bid to ensure total compliance to the presidential directive on the implementation of Treasury Single Account (TSA). Speaking at a sensitization forum with agents and representatives of operators of non-scheduled flights in the country on the imperative of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) regime of the Buhari administration, Akinkuotu urged operators to adjust to the new order The event which took place at NAMA headquarters in Lagos was targeted at fashioning out ways to address concerns arising from the process of adjusting to the new cashless payment system since it came into operation last year. Capt. Akinkuotu said, there was no going back on the federal government cashless policy and that it was an executive pronouncement that demanded total compliance from all stakeholders. He appealed to non-scheduled operators to “embrace the new initiative as the entire world is going cashless,” assuring them that the new system would yield positive results that would benefit the entire industry.
“This is an innovation that would not only improve and sanitize the nation’s financial system but also ensure accountability and transparency in the long run. If we desire an aviation industry that is globally competitive, we have to imbibe global best practices,” Akinkuotu said. He added that the associated risk and needless exposure associated with the old system of carrying cash around has ensured that it was no longer fashionable. Explaining further, the NAMA helmsman said as contained in the directive, all financial transactions with the agency must be done through monetary transfers (only) into the NAMA TSA account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stressing that the era of paying cash to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) for onward delivery to the CBN had become history. Speaking on behalf of the non-scheduled operators in attendance, the Managing Director of Sunrise International Air Support Ltd, Mr Sunny Ebisue expressed gratitude to NAMA for organizing such a forum, saying that the event had shed more light on some of the grey areas that attended the new payment system. He, however, called on the agency to sustain such interaction with operators in order to keep them abreast with new developments. It will be recalled that the federal government in a circular from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation dated 7th of November, 2018 issued a final warning to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and other government entities to desist from maintaining accounts with DMBs without approval from the President, saying that all affected federal government owned and controlled MDAs and other entities must close all remaining DMB accounts, whether in local or foreign currency and transfer the balances to the individual TSA sub-account of the entity domiciled at the CBN.

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