The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) ordered local Nigerian airlines to begin the repayment of debt to regulators within 30 days or risk having their licenses suspended.
In a meeting with local airline representatives on August 30, 2022, NCAA Director-General Musa Nuhu revealed that Nigeria’s airlines were indebted to the NCAA, as well as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), according to Nigerian newspaper The Guardian.
The total debt owed to regulators is more than N45 billion, the report added.
The airlines’ debt obligations are as follows:
- NCAA – owed N19 billion and $7.8 million (N3.29 billion) on Ticket Sales Charge and Cargo Sales Charges (TSC/CSC)
- FAAN – owed N18 billion, on landing and parking charges
- NAMA – owed N5 billion, on terminal and navigation charges
Nuhu also warned that “aviation agencies may collapse very soon” if the outstanding debts are not settled, the Guardian Nigeria report continued.
“The airlines must enter an MoU on how they will pay their debts in the next 30 days from August 30th, 2022, or their license will be suspended at the expiration of the deadline,” Nuhu was quoted as saying in the Premium Times.
“This situation is crippling finances and pitching the Authority against the Federal Government as a government-owned revenue-generating agency, following the dire financial position of the Federal Government,” Nuhu added.
Deepening crisis in Nigeria’s aviation market
The NCAA’s directive follows a combination of events and turbulent market conditions pertaining to fuel costs and forex scarcity that have rocked Nigeria’s aviation market.
However, this has been further elevated by the threat of foreign airlines operating to and from the region halting operations due to difficulties in accessing ticket sales revenues.
Emirates Airlines was one of the first major carriers to announce changes in its schedule to Nigeria.
Delta Airlines (DAL) has become the latest major international carrier to suspend operations to Nigeria.
The US carrier announced in a statement that it will suspend services between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Lagos’ Murtala Muhammed Airport (LOS) from October 4, 2022, Nigerian daily newspaper PUNCH reported.
Delta added that it was suspending nonstop services between JFK and LOS to “fit the current demand environment,” the report said. However, the US carrier said it remains committed to Nigeria’s aviation market.