As the deadline for the automation of remittance of 5 per cent ticket and cargo sales charges (TSC/CSC) to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) lapsed on March 31, 2017, the agency says airlines’ indebtedness to it amounts to N15 billion in unremitted charges.
The spokesman for NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye who stated this in a press statement issued in Lagos said the agency would not back down on its earlier directive to airlines to automate the remittance of the TSC/CSC.
He said the agency will view a violation of the directive seriously adding that the directive to automate covers both domestic and foreign airlines.
However, he said the foreign airlines had complied fully by remitting their collections through the International Air Transport Association/Billing Settlement Plan (IATA/BSP).
“For the purpose of clarity, the Regulatory Authority wishes to state that the 5 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.
“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 5 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.
“Therefore for the avoidance of doubt, all airline operators should be guided by Part 18.12.5.which says “all domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the authority through an electronic platform provided by the Authority, all relevant documents such as 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,” said Adurogboye.
He said the federal government had approved the introduction of Aviation Revenue Automation Project (ARAP) for revenue collection to aid data integrity, transparency, transaction accountability, controls and revenue assurance to the authority in 2011.This is at no cost to the operators.
To facilitate easy and seamless remittance therefore, he said Part 18.12.6 of NIG.CARs enjoins all Nigerian licensed airlines to join the IATA/BSP for the purpose of remittance of 5 per cent sales charges and execute a contract to that effect.
“However, the domestic airlines have not joined the 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.
“It is pertinent to point out that NCAA is an autonomous regulatory agency therefore it continues to remain solvent by cost recovery in line with ICAO Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs).This can only be derived from the 5 per cent TSC/CSC statutorily.
On the call for review, he said it is out of the purview of the airlines stressing that any review should be at the behest of the NCAA in accordance with Part 18.12.3 which gives NCAA the power to review the 5 per cent air ticket, contract, charter and cargo sales charge from time to time in consultation with stakeholders.
“We therefore wish to state that despite 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 air transport industry.
“NCAA therefore wishes to advise the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) to ensure adequate compliance with the automation and remit their collection as appropriate,” he said.