The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has disclosed that it currently does not have any operating surplus after it remmited N2 billion into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) account between January and September, 2020.
The managing director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu revealed this during a visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation to its headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to the FAAN helmsman, as at September 30, 2020, the FAAN generated a total of N30, 084, 235, 670, during the nine months target set, out of which N27, 967, 455, 341 was actual collection.
“From this amount, N17, 610, 732, 427 was from Aeronautical source of revenue, N5,776, 622, 874 from non-aeronautical sources and N5, 242,434,128 recovered from outstanding debts owed.
” From January to September 2020, the revenue target of Aeronautical source was N38, 988, 439, 354 and actual generation totalled N17, 823, 332,992 out of which N17, 610, 732, 478 is actual collection giving a percentage performance of 98.81 on revenue collected over generated.
“The Authority is shifting focus from Aeronautical sources of revenue to non-aeronautical, FAAN is presently operating at only about 30 percent of its pre-COVID capacity. The Authority has set up a revenue task force to aggressively drive revenue, follow up on outstanding debts owed and explore all possible investment opportunities.
“FAAN does not have operating surplus. However, between January and September 2020, the Authority has remitted about N2 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Revenue Fund (CRF) account.
“The Authority is also mindful of the National Assembly committees on Aviation in ensuring that FAAN is exempted from payment of operating surplus to the Federal government. The exception of FAAN will guarantee that the revenue generated by the airports is transparently reinvested wholly in operating and developing airpot facilities in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practices on airport generated revenue,” Yadudu said.
Among other issues, Yadudu appealed to the committee to expedite action on legislations that will help the agency fastrack its operations across the country’s airports. He also said that staff salaries are paid in full, dispelling rumors that it has hitherto been paying half salaries.
Responding, the committee chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, urged FAAN to focus 70% of its investment on provision of critical aeronautical infrastructure for the aviation industry in order to improve security and safety of the airports.
The lawmakers also asked the agency to begin preparation for the future by saving for the rainy days so as to avoid a situation like that of the Covid-19 pandemic whereby the agency had challenges with funding and meeting other necessary needs.
He promised that the national assembly will protect the interest of industry in the parliament and that the provisions of the new aviation industry bill before the house will when passed be friendly to both staff of the agency, the industry and the airline operators affirming that without the airlines, there will be no FAAN and verse versa.
Nnolim said “l believe that whatever investment FAAN will do, they should put 70% of the investment in providing infrastructure. That is the path we should tow now.
You have to to find how to put up a strategy on how to focus on safety and security of the airports. The airport terminals can be containerized. What is important for airlines operators is to land in a safe airport with good security, good runways, airfields lightening, operational and and perimeter fence that guarantees the safety and insurance of their aircraft.”
In a related development, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Buerau (AIB), Akin Olateru, said that the aviation industry contributes $1.7bn into Nigeria’s economy and created 341,000 direct jobs to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before the advent of Covid-19 pandemic.
The AIB helmsman also called for effective collaboration between air transport and tourism industry, saying the two sectors need each other to thrive and developed the nation’s economy.
Presenting a paper: ‘Best Practices in Civil Aircraft Accident Prevention and Investigation for Sustainable Development of the Transportation and Tourism Industry,’ at the 2020 National Tourism and Transportation Summit and Expo 2020, held in Abuja on Monday, Olateru noted that the pandemic setback the country’s aviation industry.
Olateru was represented at the occasion by Capt. Dayyabu Danraka, Director of Operations and according to him, the $1.7 billion and 241,000 figures were presented by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), recently.
Olateru, further described air accident and serious incident investigation and timely release of safety reports as catalyst for sustainable development in the air transportation and tourism industry in the country.
Olateru insisted that air transport was part of a broader travel and tourism sector, widely recognised as world largest industry.