House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has frowned at the deliberate withholding of at least N13billion levies by one of Nigeria’s indigenous airlines collected on behalf of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN).
This is just as the committee has charged the management of FAAN to provide it with the details of the debt profile of affected debtor airlines latest next week stating that it was regrettable that some airlines could collect charges on behalf of the agency and fail to remit the money appropriately.
Although the airline was unnamed, the committee chaired by Honourable Nnolim Nnaji representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency of Enugu Sate, described the revelation as a breach of trust by that airline.
The debt discovery followed a passionate appeal made by the Managing Director of the authority, Captain Rabiu Yadudu during an interactive session with the committee at the National Assembly Thursday
The Committee had summoned the FAAN boss to explain the rationale behind the 100 per cent increase in passenger service charge (PSC) announced by the airports’ authority in preparations for the partial lifting of domestic flights across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The service charges were raised from one thousand naira on local flight to two thousand naira and from fifty United States dollars to one hundred dollars on international routes.
The committee though convinced that the increase in PSC was inevitable based on the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry was however alarmed to learn that one of the indigenous airlines was yet to remit to FAAN the sum of N13billion naira collected on behalf the authority.
The committee in a unanimous resolution will invite the airlines to come and defend the allegation even as it demanded that the management of FAAN provides it with the details of the debt profile of the affected airlines.
The chairman Nnolim Nnaji who described the attitude of some indigenous airlines as regrettable assured FAAN that his Committee would look into the matter with a view to resolve it so that the authority can carry out its statutory duties of providing world-class services to air travellers unhindered.
He further stressed that it amounted to breach of trust by some airlines if they could collect charges on behalf of the agency and failed to remit the money appropriately noting that such practice must not be condoned.