Transaction counters of two domestic airlines at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja were on Tuesday, October 27, sealed off by the revenue task force of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) over unpaid Passenger Service Charge (PSC).
Passengers of Azman Air and Aero Contractors, the affected airlines, could not buy tickets or even board their flights as staff of the airlines could not complete ticketing and boarding formalities following sealing off of the counters by FAAN revenue task force. The General Manager, Corporate Affairs of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, confirmed the development saying it was FAAN revenue drive initiative at the Abuja airport. One of the passengers who was to fly to Maiduguri from Abuja said they were tired of waiting not knowing whether they were still going to travel or not. Other passengers heading to different parts of the country, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and elsewhere also suffered the same fate.
According to investigation, the same exercise is expected to take place at other airports in the country in the coming days. Some of the airlines had accumulated arears of debts for services provided by FAAN prior to the COVID-19 outbreak which have remained unpaid since resumption of flights. A reliable source within FAAN told Daily Sun that the defaulting airlines were in the habit of not paying the required charges despite a meeting held with their officials about two weeks ago.
“Azman Air has just paid Five million passenger service charge to us out of what they owe. What happens is that all airlines except Ibom Air have a wallet with FAAN and depending on the arrangement, they are supposed to fill up the wallet with a certain amount of money every beginning of the week. But what Azman Air does is that they will leave their wallet until it turns red. Anytime the funds in their wallet is less than three million, the wallet turns red.