As the controversies concerning the remittance of 5 per cent Ticket and Cargo Sales Charge (TSC) to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and indigenous airlines continue, Sahara Reporters has uncovered the breakdown of the debts owe the regulatory agency by the airlines. A document made available to our correspondent indicated that 13 airlines are indebted to NCAA on the 5 per cent PSC alone. However, some of the debtors have closed shop while many of them are still in operations.
The document indicated that the troubled Arik Air, which is under the receivership of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is the highest debtor with N9,460,745,429.96 accumulated as debt. The debt was as at December 2016 while the airline was yet to pay any amount of money to the agency in 2017. The document revealed that Arik Air was supposed to remit N61.4vmillion to NCAA monthly, but has failed in this regularly and only pays stipends to the coffers of the agency monthly.
The debt of Arik Air alone is about 70 percent of defaults by local airlines.
Following in the footstep of Arik Air is Dana Air with a monthly remittance of N57. 5 million, but was indebted to NCAA to the tune of N1.2billion as at December 2016.
Besides, Med-View Airlines has a total debt of N1.03billion debt to NCAA.
The document revealed that the airline, which recently cut down its flight operations to London from four a week to three as a result of lack of patronage was supposed to remit N30 million to NCAA on a monthly basis, but has constantly reneged.
Also, Aero Contractors that is under the receivership of AMCON, investigation revealed, owed N389million as at December 2016. Aero has been under the radar of AMCON for the past five years, but its fortunes have continued to nosedive with depleted aircraft fleet which reduced to 2 as opposed to 18 as of 2011.
Also, Air Peace is indebted to NCAA to the tune of N309million while it ought to remit monthly the sum of N109,862,633.84.
Others are First Nation Airways whose flight operations have been epileptically in the past 10 months. The airline has an unremitted amount of N421,444,960.13 from the expected remittance of N8,370,066 to the regulatory body.
Among the debtors is Overland Airways with N19million out of the expected monthly remittance of N12,311,189.43.
Azman Air, which mostly flies between Lagos-Abuja-Kano has a monthly 5 percent TSC N20 million but owes N321million as unremitted debt to the NCAA.
However, liquidated carriers like Chanchangi, IRS, Discovery, African World and Cronos Air are also captured in the debts crisis to NCAA. Leading the pack of liquidated carriers with high debt profiles is IRS Airline of Alhaji Ishaku Rabiu with a total debt profile of N1.05billion before liquidation while Chanchangi, which equally closed shop over five years ago was indebted to NCAA to the tune of N442billion before its demise. Discovery Air, which flew for less than a year before calling it quits on the scene owed N28m, African World was indebted to NCAA N2m while Cronos Air owed N3.5million.
In all, NCAA is owed N14billion by domestic carriers as at last December while foreign airlines have been remitting their revenues to NCAA regularly.
It would be recalled that NCAA and the umbrella body of indigenous carriers in the country, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have been on collision course in the past one week over the unremitted N15 billion 5 percent TSC. While the regulatory body threatened to sanction defaulting carriers according to the Act setting it up, the airlines accused NCAA of lacking transparency and insisted it would not remit the charges to NCAA until the right measures were put in place.