NASS is looking for a constitutional solution to the 25 percent IGR remittance from FAAN – The Sun Nigeria
From Chinelo Obogo
The National Assembly has decided to seek a “workable” solution to the Nigerian Airports Authority (FAAN) request to be exempted from remitting 25 percent of its internally generated income (IGR) to the country’s treasury.
This was announced by the Chairs of the House and Senate Aviation Committee Chairs, Nnolim Nnaji and Smart Adeyemi, during the 25th Annual Meeting of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC).
Senator Adeyemi, speaking about FAAN’s mandatory 25% contribution to the Treasury Department, said he is considering how the agency’s request for exemption from remittance of funds can be handled in ways that do not violate the amended Constitution of 1999 violated.
“We are examining how we can deal with requests from agencies like FAAN not to be allowed to pay the required 25 percent IGR into the state coffers because this would be contrary to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We are looking at what can be done and that explains one of the problems why we did not pass the bills. But starting from our hiatus, we would take a final position on this and consider how we can strike a balance between the 1999 Constitution and what the bill aims to achieve. But you know that in any situation where you have a law that conflicts with the constitution, the constitution will prevail.
“I am a member of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Reform and we will meet soon and we will look at some of these issues. We would consider how we can make the agencies more effective by either reducing them or directly asking them to use some of the funds they generate, ”Adeyemi said.
Nnolim, who also spoke at the event, expressed grief over the fact that airlines are unable to access sufficient foreign currency to purchase aircraft spare parts. He also said it was unfortunate that the FG did not do much for the sector in terms of bailouts during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government hasn’t done much in terms of airline bailouts. The cost of an engine on a Boeing is nearly $ 10 million and what the government has allocated to all airlines is about N 4 billion, so if you compare what our airlines have gotten to other countries, you will find that they haven’t done much for the industry. The aviation industry is a very expensive business and most people don’t break even. You just manage to keep the business going because everything in the industry is offshore and that’s a challenge.
“We have succeeded in enforcing zero tariffs for the airlines on the purchase of spare parts. Another problem they are struggling with is the issue of forex. Since they buy most of their belongings overseas, it is important that they have access to foreign currency. The planes have to be in the sky all the time because the more you move, the more money you make to pay your bills. We would like the Central Bank of Nigeria to create a window for Forex as this will help reduce airfare.
“Right now, I don’t know how the Forex ban on BDCs will affect airlines, but I heard that the black market rate has gone up. I still wonder if the banks can do this, but from next week we’ll see how the airlines will be affected, ”said Nnolim.