FG to review multiple taxes on airlines

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Indications emerged on Tuesday that the Federal Government had commenced a process to review multiple taxation on airlines by its agencies in the aviation industry.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation’s Director of Air Transport Regulations, Group Capt. Edem Oyo-Ita (retd.), stated this at a stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop on the implementation of the Single African Air Transport Market.

Oyo-Ita, who spoke in reaction to the Airline Operators of Nigeria’s concerns that the country would lose out of the open skies agreement due to the challenges plaguing the aviation industry, said the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had set up a committee to review taxes paid by airlines with a view to harmonising them.

The AON had rejected Nigeria’s endorsement of the implementation of the Africa open skies policy, saying that except the challenges confronting airlines, such as rigid policies, multiple taxation, aviation fuel crisis and currency fluctuation were addressed, the country would lose out of the benefits of the SAATM.

At the 24th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in 2015, heads of state adopted a declaration to establish the SAATM through the implementation of the Yamoussoukro as a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063 to create a single unified air transport market in Africa.

The SAATM is expected to enhance air traffic growth in the continent and will be inaugurated this week during the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Director-General, NCAA, Muhtar Usman, said the SAATM was of utmost importance to aviation growth on the continent.

“Thus, it is imperative that we organise this sensitisation workshop to intensify awareness campaign among the critical stakeholders on the impact as well as benefits of the SAATM on the industry and the national economy,” he said.

The Chairman, AON, Capt. Nogie Meggison, stated that operators were uncomfortable with the decision as they were not invited to make an input into its implementation.

He said Nigeria should not be in a hurry to sign the agreement until the advantages and disadvantages had been considered.

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