NAMA to use AON, Consultant to reconcile, recover debts | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


NAMA to use AON, Consultant to reconcile, recover debts

Posted: May 4, 2015 at 9:01 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Abel Orukpe  Lagos

As part of efforts to ensure domestic airlines in the country pay their debts, which is running into billions of naira, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), said it has decided to use Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) and a consultant to reconcile and recover debts owed the agency.

The Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, said this at the weekend in an interactive session with aviation correspondents at the agency’s headquarter in Lagos.

This is just as the airspace agency said that the era when people make insinuations that its navigational aids are not working is over, following the recent calibration of the equipment by the Agency for the Safety of Aerial Navigation in Africa (ASECNA).

“We have people who check these facilities. They have gone round, checked and certified the facilities. The idea that our navigational aids are not good has been laid to rest” Abdulsalam said.

The NAMA boss pointed out that the agency has no problem with foreign carriers, as they pay their charges promptly, lamenting that it is the domestic airlines that are indebted to the airspace agency.

He said that the debts in question are not recent debts but debts that were incurred years ago before the introduction of the “Pay As You Go” system, which the agency currently operates.

However, the managing Director did not reveal the total amount of the debts, or how much each of the airlines owed the agency and whether they are servicing it.

Abdulsalam emphasized that it was no longer possible for airline to owe the agency because of the “Pay As You Go” introduced to put a stop to it.

On why he has not denied these airlines of clearance, he said:  “if the domestic airlines are grounded, it would affect the travelling public, NAMA and other agencies in the aviation industry, and that when this happen, the agency would have no reason to exist”.

The NAMA boss stated that to ensure that these debts are paid, the Federal Government has intervened by appointing a consultant to reconcile and collect Arik Air’s debt and that the agency has also said that Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) should look into that of other airlines since they are all members of the body.

The decision to use a consultant to reconcile debts owed the agency by Arik Air may not be unconnected with allegation that the airline owe the highest amount of debt of all the domestic airlines in the country.

He said that the intervention has not gone far because the agency is not comfortable with the consultant  that was brought in by the Federal Government  for fear that the consultant had having worked for the airline before, may not be fair.

He specifically said:  “We should work out modalities for payment of debts owed by the airlines. That is why we are not releasing the figure they owe us. It is our local airlines that have been defaulting in payment; they are part of our system and we have to be moderate with them. Nobody goes to fly on credit; you have to pay for the ticket. If we ground the airlines, people will be affected”