Nigeria is set to take corrective measures by making Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) the only functional regulatory body for civil aviation in the country.
This measure came up after the proposal to make it a criminal offence for airlines to hold on to funds generated from Ticket Sales and Cargo sales charges ( TSC/CSC) kept in their trust.
Nigeria is also amending the Establishment Acts of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Establishment Act 1995 and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Act 1999 to remove regulatory powers from these service-provider agencies.
These amendments are set to address findings of both the United States Federal Aviation Administration ( FAA) Category 1 Certification Audit and the ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) of Nigeria that some service providers in the country had regulatory powers.
Speaking at a three day public hearing hosted by the Senate Committee on Aviation to amend six (6) executive bills of aviation agencies, Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu told the senate committee that the bill will assure the NCAA’s autonomy.
“Section 4 of the Bill emphasises the autonomy of the NCAA and its independence in the discharge of its safety and security oversight functions.This provision satisfies a key ICAO requirement that member states should set up autonomous civil aviation Authorities with powers to ensure compliance with the civil aviation regulations of their State.
The amendment of section 17 of the Bill which details the sources of funding for the apart from the 5%Ticket Sales and Cargo Sales charges (TSC/CSC) from where the CAA carries out
At the hearing, NCAA proposed an amendment to the sharing formula of the Ticket Sales and Cargo Sales charges (TSC/CSC) with NCAA getting 56%, a review downwards from 58% it currently takes.
Also the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA) reviewed down from 23% to 22% while NiMET gets 9%, NCAT gets 7% and the Accident Investigation Bureau ( AIB ) is reviewed upwards from 3% to 6%.
Section 17 of the proposal read,” The aviation agencies which share the 5% TCS/CSC came together under the guidance of the honourable Minister of Aviation, and agreed to a change in the sharing formula, to make more funds available to the Accident Investigation Bureau ( AIB), which is expected to assume a bigger responsibility for multi- modal accident investigation under a new name, when its Establishment Bill is passed into Law.
“Accordingly, the NCAA is proposing amendments to section 17 and 23(8) of the Bill to change the sharing formula to the following: NCAA-56%, down from 58%, 2. NAMA-22%, down from 23%, 3.NIMET-9%, unchanged; 4. NCAT -7% unchanged and AIB-6%, increased by 3%”
Also Section 23: Under the 2006 Act, proposes that the 5% TSC/CSC is collected by the airlines are supposed to be remitted by airlines and when it is not it becomes a criminal offence.
“Section 23: Under the 2006 Act, the 5% TSC/CSC is collected by the airlines, who are expected to remit what they collect to the NCAA. However, most of them collect but do not remit. The NCAA partnered with the banks to develop a platform to automatically deduct the 5% TSC/CSC from ticket sales but most of the airlines refused to get on the platform.
“The result is that as at today, the total amount of 5% TSC/CSC collected by the airlines but unremitted to the NCAA exceeds N10b. We believe that the provisions of Section 23 of the Bill will solve this problem once and for all, not only because it has clearly defined the components of the Charge but because it has removed the statutory responsibility to collect the fund from the airlines and given it to the NCAA, with power to delegate the collection to deserving airlines.
“Further, the section makes it a criminal offence for any airline to collect and fail to remit the funds within a stipulated time.”