47 Nigerian airlines have Closed shop in 30 years

About 47 airline operators in Nigeria have closed shop in the last thirty years due to various challenges militating against the smooth operation of airline business in the country.

Some of the challenges include multiple taxation, policy deviation and policy contradiction by the executive arm of government, and high cost of renting ground space at airports amongst others.

Disclosing this development to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation yesterday, Secretary General of Aircraft Operators Association of Nigeria, Captain Mohammed Joji, mentioned some of the challenges facing the airlines in the country.

The Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha-led committee is currently holding a public hearing on the need to save the aviation industry from imminent collapse. The hearing which commenced on Tuesday continues until Friday.

Joji noted that the challenges, identified in a 2006 Presidential Task Force Report on the industry, exist till date and continue to hinder the growth of the aviation sector.

He further decried that the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) continues to charge dollars from domestic airline operators, despite the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria against such practice.

According to him, the country continues to charge Value Added Tax for purchase of aircrafts, a practice which has been stopped in all parts of the world as transportation is a basic service which drives the economy.

“The approval of multiple destinations to foreign airlines has denied local operators earnings and this has to be stopped. The NCAA policy of levying operators flying on schedule flight out of Nigeria is a punitive measure devoid of any economic sense to the airline. FAAN charges the most expensive land rate in the world at N60,000/sqm, which is more expensive than choice lands in Victoria Island, Lagos and Asokoro in Abuja,” he noted.


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