The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said its recently released figures of revenue generated from aviation charges are verifiable.
In a statement on Sunday in Lagos, NCAA General Manager of Public Relations, Sam Adurogboye, said that NCAA’s system and processes of generating and gathering data were in line with international standards.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCAA recently disclosed that both domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N502.2 billion in 2017.
The regulatory agency said the ticket sale increased by 14.2 per cent (N82.7 billion) from N422.4 billion in 2016.
According to the agency, the airlines also made N400. 9 million in 2017 through cargo charges, an increase from N285 million generated in 2016.
Some stakeholders in the industry have, however, disputed the figures, alleging that the Federal Government lost more than N100 billion in Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargo Sales Charge (CSC) from 2013 to 2017 through under remittances.
Mr Adurogboye advised all stakeholders not to doubt the figures or create confusion over them, since they could be verified.
“The process of generating data is as stipulated in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs), 2015, Part 18.12.5.
“All domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria shall forward to the authority, through an electronic platform provided by the authority, all relevant documents such as flown coupons, passenger or cargo manifests, air waybills, load sheets, clients’ service invoices and other documents necessary for accurate billing within 48 hours after each flight.
“In addition, as part of the billing requirements, the authority collects billable data from airlines, photocopy of flown coupons and Post Departure Manifest (PDM) of international flight operations.
“All these are International Air Transport Association (IATA) documents which NCAA cannot influence,” he said.
According to him, flown coupons contain specific information required by IATA before billings are done and issued.
Mr Adurogboye said that the information included ticket number, name of passenger and TSC.
“It is noteworthy that the prerequisite NCAA five per cent TSC paid by passengers is indicated on the ticket. These data are warehoused by NCAA and can be verified.
“The domestic billing process requires an airline to submit to the authority its PDM immediately after every flight departure.
“It is from the filed fares that five per cent TSC is calculated. The automated integrated system, therefore, ensures authenticity between NCAA server and airlines,” he added.
Mr Adurogboye said that similarly, the process of billing five per cent CSC required the airlines to submit airway bill in accordance to the Nig.CARs.
He said that the weight and rate stated on the airway bill were used in the calculation of the CSC.
“However, it is pertinent to state that the statistics available for five per cent CSC is not the same as the harmonised figures.
“Cargo data captures the total weight of the cargo (import and export) while NCAA chargeable weight is on export cargo only.
“Note that foreign airlines with Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) do not pay royalty on cargo airlift; though the cargo weights are captured, they are not billable.
“Furthermore, the authority authenticates the automated data output with the hard copy data submitted by the airlines. This serves as verification and determination of the actual flown passengers,” Mr Adurogboye said.
According to him, categories such as diplomats and infants less than two years are non-revenue passengers and, therefore, exempted from five per cent TSC calculation.
Mr Adurogboye said: “There are also those whose journeys do not originate from Nigeria (tickets sold offshore).
“In ticket sales there are promotional, discounted, staff and low season’s fares. It is the aggregate of these that mischief makers sum up and begin to tout figures.
“Airline fares are not constant, and they are dissimilar across routes and continental distances. It is, therefore, preposterous for anyone to attach the same fare to all passengers.
“It is impossible for any airline to remit five per cent TSC on passengers not flown. The airlines carry out a scrutiny of NCAA billing using their flown coupons before remittances of sales charge to NCAA.”
The NCAA spokesperson noted that on international flights, IATA provided support via Billing Settlement Plan (BSP) through its clearing house, verification and direct collection of five per cent TSC.
He said: “All the above processes attest to the sanctity of our figures.
“The NCAA will continue to ensure due diligence in data collation. This prevalent distraction will not deter the regulatory authority from providing a robust regulation that will engender safe and secure airline operations.”