The Federal Government earned at least N13 billion as security levy from outbound international passengers in 2017.
A report obtained from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) indicated that between January and December 2017, at least 1,825,358 passengers exited the country through the five international airports of Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.
NCAA however collects the sum on behalf of the Federal Government through the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and remits into a dedicated account opened for that purpose by the government.
The Federal Government had introduced $20 as security levy from each outbound passenger in the country in 2014 to fight insurgency.
Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, in an interview confirmed that IATA is saddled with the responsibility of collecting the sum from the airlines.
He said it was easier for IATA to do the collection as all the operating airlines on the international routes are on the Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) of the international body.
Statistics carried out by newsmen indicated that from the 1,825,358 passengers that exited the country in 2017, NCAA through IATA collected security levy of $20 each, which amounted to $36,505,160 within the period (N13,325,113,500 at the exchange rate of N365 per dollar).
The document revealed that the sum was earned from 30 airlines that performed international operations in the country with a total number of 13,503 flights operated within the period.
Some of the international airlines were Ethiopian Airlines, British Airways flies to Lagos and Abuja Airports, Air France, Lufthansa, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways and KLM Airlines, Qatar Airways, Egypt Air, South African Airways and Asky Airways.
Others are African World Airlines, Rwandair, Kenya Airways, Delta Air Lines, Royal Air Maroc, Etihad Airways, Med-View, Arik Air had 67,270, Air Cote D’Ivoire, Saudi Air, Air Peace, Middle East, Max Air, Sudan Air, Meridiana Air, Mid Air Africa, Cronos Air and Azman Air which performed skeletal service on the regional/international routes within the period.
The report revealed that Ethiopian Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways led the pack of foreign carriers with highest number of passengers out of the country and revenues for the Federal Government.
The statistics showed that African World Airline had total outbound passengers of 56,963 in 2017, thereby earning N415, 632,800, Air Cote d’Ivoire; had 30,278 passengers, representing N221029,400, Air France; N940,634,200 with 126,854 passengers, Air Peace, N110,383,300 with 15,121 passengers, Arik Air; N260,661,100 and had 35,707 passengers within the period.
Others were Asky Airline, which earned N435,598,300; Azman Air, N79,132, British Airways; N1,017,430,200, Cronos Air; N211,480,00, Delta Air Lines; N323,280,500, Egypt Air; N583,635,000, Emirates; N896,308,600, Ethiopian Airlines; N1,560572,100, Etihad Airways; N317,177,700, Kenya Airways; N344,406,700, KLM Airways; N700,887,600 and Lufthansa with N957803,800 earning for NCAA.
Others are Max Air earned N77,905,00; Meridiana Air; N51,005,100, Med-View Airline; N272,144,000, Mid Africa; N161,622,00; Middle East; N986,084,00, Qatar Airways; N662,825,200, Royal Air Maroc; N339924,500, Rwandair; N406,164,700, Saudi Air; N183609,600, Sudan Air; N66,116,100, South Africa Airways; N516445,800, Turkish Airways; N845,077,200 and Virgin Atlantic with N674,972,600 earning for the regulatory agency.
Also, in 2017, no fewer than 22,584 passengers’ luggage were either missing or delayed on arrival.
The report further indicated that 26,421 luggage were found, which indicated that some luggage missing in 2016 were found and returned to their owners within the year.
Within the same year, there were 176 pilfering of passengers luggage or other complaints from passengers concerning their luggage to the Consumer Protectorate Department (CPD) of NCAA in 2017 while 24 airlines engaged in over-booking among the carriers plying the international routes in the past year.
The CPD also received 200 complaints in 2017 while 77 of the complaints were resolved. The other 123 complaints remained unresolved in 2017.
Abdullahi on the security levy further said that the sums were used to procure security equipment and vehicles by the government in all the airports.
He said: “The sum is used for training and retraining of technical passengers, purchase of screening security equipment and other airport facilities such as the ‘Follow Me’ vehicles, which follows an aircraft once it lands at the airport.
“The security level was introduced in 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan because of the Boko Haram insurgency. We had to acquire more sophisticated equipment, which are installed at the airports. The essence of the fund is to improve the aviation safety in the country”.