The director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman has called on all the service providers in the aviation to incorporate integrity in their dealings if so that they could function favourably in an enabling operating environment of the industry.
Delivering a paper entitled “Enhancing Business Transaction Integrity In Nigeria’s Aviation Industry” at Business Transaction Summit held in Lagos recently, Usman urged service providers and airlines to remember that starting or running a business with the sole purpose of making money is not the only objective but a deliberate effort to make honour and integrity the hallmark.
“Irrespective of size, or range of products or the seemingly best customer service that a service provider/airlines prides in, it is nothing if it does not maintain integrity in business dealings especially when it has to do with remitting money to the coffers of government as at when due to create enabling operating environment.
“Enhancing business transaction integrity in business cannot be equated with anything else, but when a company is known for its transparency and integrity in business, it increases its chances to grow, make huge profits and have a loyal customer base,” he said.
Section 12 (1) of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 states that “there shall continue to be a 5 per cent air ticket contract, charter and cargo sales charge to be collected by the airlines and paid over to the Authority.”
However, he lamented that some airlines had defaulted in paying back the entrusted money to the appropriate owner.
“Where lies our business integrity if we cannot give back what is entrusted into our hands to the owner. It is sad to point out that some of us cannot decipher operational cost from profit margin. A good businessman endeavours to separate the profit margin with the operational cost.
“And if we were doing this, we would have been able to separate the 5 per cent service charge from the real ticket sales and draw our operational/profit margin from the actual,” said Muhtar.
Usman debunked claims by airlines that the 5 per cent ticket sales charge (TSC) and 5 per cent cargo sales charge (CSC) collected as tax or levy had become a drain on their earnings.
“This is a misrepresentation of the fact. The TSC as contained in the ticket is paid by passengers. The airlines’ role is to collect and remit same to the regulatory authority.
“The TSC and CSC are collected at source from passengers by airlines on behalf of the federal government, to enable all aviation agencies to tackle safety critical issues as they arise to engender safe, secure and efficient air transportation and allied services for the overall benefits of all stakeholders,” he said.
The director general added: “Business activities have been made so simple by the e-technology. This is very prominent in the private sector; the success of this has made the government to embrace the electronic payment system. The Treasury Single Account (TSA) is electronic driven and has recorded huge success.
“It is expected that the aviation industry, which is a high tech industry, should key into the e-payment system in all transactions. The question here is: Why can’t airlines design an e-payment portal that can enable direct remittance of the 5 per cent charge to the appropriate quarter? It is achievable, just that the airline operators are fond of trading with monies that do not belong to them and they have gotten used to it.”