The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, says there is no going back on its earlier directive on automation of remittance of the five per cent Ticket and Cargo Sales Charges (TSC/CSC).
Sam Adurogboye, the General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, said on Tuesday that any airline that failed to comply would be viewed seriously by the regulatory authority.
He said the airlines were presently indebted to NCAA to the tune of N15 billion.
“For the purpose of clarity, NCAA wishes to state that the five per cent ticket and cargo sales charges are revenue accruable to the aviation agencies through NCAA.
“This is contained in Part V Section 12(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006.
“This section merely mandates the airlines to collect the charges paid by the passengers on behalf of NCAA and remit same appropriately and in real time which have not been so,” Mr. Adurogboye said.
According to him, there is no ambiguity with regard to the components of the billing of the charges.
“Part 18.12.4. of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs 2015) clearly provides that the five per cent air ticket sales charge shall be based on the total cost of travel paid by passengers to the airline.
“This shall be the cost of ticket inclusive of fuel surcharge or any other charge added to the total cost of travel by the airline exclusive of government Value Added Tax or any other tax that may be imposed by government from time to time,” he said.
Mr. Adurogboye said all airline operators should be guided by Part 18.12.5.
“The section provides that all domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the authority through an electronic platform provided by the authority all relevant documents.
“The documents include flown coupons, passenger or cargo manifests, air waybills, load sheets, clients’ service invoices and other documents necessary for accurate billing within 48 hours after each flight.”
The NCAA spokesperson said in realisation of this, the Federal Government in 2011 approved the introduction of Aviation Revenue Automation Project (ARAP) for revenue collection.
He said ARAP was set up to aid data integrity, transparency, transaction accountability, controls and revenue assurance to the authority at no cost to the operators.
“To facilitate easy and seamless remittance therefore, Part 18.12.6. says all Nigerian licensed airlines shall join the IATA/BSP for the purpose of remittance of five per cent sales charges, and shall execute a contract to that effect.
“However, the domestic airlines have not joined the International Air Transport Association/Billing Settlement Plan (IATA/BSP).
“Therefore, the ARAP is an alternate means of compliance to smooth remittance provided by the authority in line with Federal Government’s directive.’’
He said it was pertinent to note that NCAA was an autonomous regulatory agency which continues to remain solvent by cost recovery in line with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
Mr. Adurogboye said this could only be derived from the five per cent ticket and cargo sales charges statutorily.
He noted that the directive to automate covers both domestic and foreign airlines, adding that the foreign airlines had complied fully by remitting their collections through the IATA/BSP.
“On the call for review, this is definitely out of the purview of the airlines.
Any review should be at the behest of the NCAA using Part 18.12.3, which states that the authority may review the five per cent air ticket, contract, charter and cargo sales charge from time to time in consultation with stakeholders.
“We therefore wish to state that in spite of the astronomical cost of operation, the authority has never carried out a review since inception. This is to encourage sustained and increased patronage for the industry.’’
Mr. Adurogboye, however, assured the airline operators that the authority was looking into all the issues raised in their letter.
He urged them to ensure adequate compliance with the automation and remit their collection as appropriate.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, had on Monday called for the suspension of the automation of the remittance system.
The operators said the process should be put on hold until the parameters which constitute the statutory five per cent TSC/CSC were clearly and properly defined.NAN.M