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Aviation Analyst Indicts NCAA Of Figure Manipulation, Diversion Of Billions Annually

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been accused of manipulating the 5 percent earning on the Tickets Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charges (CSC) it’s collecting on behalf of other sister agencies from operating airlines.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been accused of manipulating the 5 percent earning on the Tickets Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charges (CSC) it’s collecting on behalf of other sister agencies from operating airlines.

The manipulation of this figure, it was gathered is leading to diversion of billions of naira annually by the regulatory agency.

To address this anomaly, the Federal Government has been called upon to institute a probe into the activities of the agency in the past 10 years as it pertains to TSC and CSC.

Grp. Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd) made this accusation against the regulatory agency in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos.

Apart from NCAA, four other aviation agencies like the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) also share from the 5 percent TSC and CSC.

According to the sharing formula, NAMA is supposed to get 23 percent, AIB gets three percent, NCAT; seven percent and NIMET with nine percent while NCAA earns 58 percent of the total sum.

Ojikutu declared that apart from NCAA, which collects the sum on behalf of other agencies, none of the organizations involved in the sharing of the sum has access to it.

Ojikutu also called on the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, Committees of the National Assembly on Aviation, Public Finance, Accounts and Appropriation, Concerned and credible government and private aviation operators to institute a probe to unravel the diversion of several billions of naira annually by NCAA, accruing from TSC and CSC.

According to Ojikutu, the NCAA is tasked in the Part 12 (1) of the Act to collect on behalf of itself and four other aviation agencies, 5 percent charges on all the airlines passengers’ ticket sales, air chartered services charges, cargo freight charges and others for the development and improvement of safety and security infrastructural systems, services and human capital development of related operations in the aviation sector.

He said, “Unfortunately, the manner the recordings of the earnings from these statutory charges had been handled by NCAA and its consultants in the last 10 years and still being handled today, nobody, not even the National Assembly in its oversight responsibility of the sector, cared to know the gross and net earnings from the statutory charges and the losses too through manipulation of figures; all of which run into billions of naira every year.”

Ojikutu declared that the consequences of the manipulation of the figures and the exploitation of the earnings by those charged or contracted by NCAA to collect the charges and the complacency of the major shareholders of the earnings are grave on safety operations activities and services of both the government and the private operators in the sector.

He explained that at a meeting in February 2017, NCAA released a report that showed earnings from airlines ticket sales alone for the year 2015 and 2016 as N385 billion and N330 billion respectively.

He pointed out that these figures were not broken down to elucidate the earnings for neither international nor domestic passengers, but could imply that the 5 percent TSC from these earnings would be about N19.25 billion and N16.5 billion respectively for 2015 and 2016.

He insisted that the figures were misleading when compared with the records available at the NCAA Directorate of Air Transport and Training (DATR) on the 5 percent TSC for the international and domestic airlines ticket sales alone especially from January to December 2016, which it put at N15.1bn and $23.5m or a total of N23.3bn.

He queried that if N23.3bn was the recorded 5 percent TSC on the ticket sales alone in 2016 by the NCAA DATR, the ticket sales earnings therefore could not be N330bn, but N466bn.

He said this indicated a difference of N136bn.

He added that the NCAA recorded passengers traffic figures of 11.4 million and 11.3 million for 2015 and 2016 respectively was also misleading when taken against the figures of 15.2 million and 14.2 million recorded respectively for the same periods by FAAN at all the national airports.

He added: “The NCAA also recorded 3,272,331 for each of the same years, for international passengers while the FAAN figures were 4.30 million and 4.20 million respectively."

“Similarly, for the same period, NCAA domestic passengers’ traffic figures were 8.1 million and 8 million respectively, while FAAN recorded 10.2 million and 10.9 million respectively for the same period.”

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