Airline operators accuse Customs of sabotaging growth of aviation industry

Airline operators Association of Nigeria have expressed their displeasure over the cancellation of waivers given to commercial airline operators to import aircraft and its spare parts into the country by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).

Speaking to journalists on Friday, Chairman of the association, Captain Nogie Meggison said airline operators are groaning under huge amount of tariff paid on the importation of the spare parts.

Megisson who said the tariff was affecting the growth of the aviation industry in Nigeria accused Customs of dumping the already gazetted waiver on importation of aircraft spare parts into the country.

He said, “‎We had a waiver gazetted for duty free on our spare parts and importation of aircraft for commercial reason only but Customs have backdated that waiver and they are charging us for duty.

“It is not easy as an airline had to pay about N90 million to bring spare part to fix our aircraft. That is too heavy on us and we cannot pass that one on our passengers because we feel for Nigerians,”

Though, Megisson said they had taken it up with Customs, he said the association was not satisfied with the level of response given to it by the Service.

“The waiver was gazetted but the customs without any notice said they are not recognising it but it has been in existence for the past three years so we are waiting for the new minister of Finance because we have met Customs and they said it is the finance Ministry that handles that.

“We need to put our hand on deck because at the end Nigeria populace will be at the receiving end,” he said

When SHIPS & PORTS DAILY contacted the Customs spokesman, Wale Adeniyi, he said Customs do have powers to grant waivers; hence it couldn’t have cancelled it in the first instance.

“We don’t have powers to grant them waivers in the first instance. So we cannot cancel what we did not give. So we couldn’t have cancelled it if we did not give them in the first instance,” he said.

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