Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The House of Representatives has condemned the continued collection of import duties on imported aircraft parts despite President Muhammadu Buhari ‘s executive granting waiver on them.
The chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, who spoke at interaction with journalists, in Abuja, also frowned at the continued imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on imported aircrafts and parts by the the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
Nnaji stated that domestic airlines were facing several challenges and required the support of the government, so as not to collapse.
He listed the challenges confronting the airlines to include inability to access foreign exchange at the official rate, multiplicity taxations, fees and changes, multiple entry points and frequencies granted foreign airlines and the externalisation of insurance placement for domestic airlines among others.
The lawmaker added that the riising cost of aviation fuel, (JET-A1), over regulation of domestic airlines and inadequate night landing facilities in most of the airports, which reduces the airlines’ operating flight hours are part of concerns raised by domestic airline operators during a recent public hearing organised by the committee.
“We are going to look into these demands and more especially to find out why the Nigeria Customs Service would not respect the president’s Executive Order on duty exemption meant to lighten the burden of the airlines.”
“If developed countries could give bailouts in billions of dollars to their airlines to cushion the impact of coronavirus, with all the incentives at their disposal, you can understand what our airline operators are going through without help”, Nnaji stated.