NIGERIAN Airspace Management Agency (Nama) officials have given airlines that owe it money 30 days to bring their payments up to date of face the risk of having their operating licences revoked.
Across Nigeria, it is commonplace for domestic airlines to owe Nama for the payment of airport taxes, as many of them struggle to honour their obligations despite a thriving market. Problems like expensive aviation fuel costs, high insurance premiums and heavy maintenance costs, combine to negate the effects of a buoyant Nigerian aviation market, fording the airlines to default on their payments to Nama.
Exasperated with the ballooning debts, Nama has now given the erring airlines an ultimatum, saying they must pay up or face having their operations closed down. Nama spokesman Khalid Emele, said services will be withdrawn to the debtor airlines and airports after the expiration of the notice.
Mr Emele said: “Nama has given a 30-day final demand notice to debtor airlines and private/state-owned airports to settle all outstanding debts owed to the agency. The demand notice which expires on the 28th of February, 2020 expects all debtors to settle their indebtedness or risk sanctions.
“It will be recalled that the affected debtors had earlier been communicated with details of their respective indebtedness to Nama but have made no tangible effort to pay. Nama hereby notifies debtor private/state-owned airport operators and airlines that effective 28th February 2020, our services will no longer be available for the operation of their airports or airlines as the agency can no longer keep its personnel working at airports without payment.”
He added that all the affected debtors, where in doubt have been advised to liaise with Nama’s commercial department for reconciliation and/ or clarification within the stipulated grace period. It is not year which airlines are under threat and which flights could be cancelled as a result.