FG Explains Why Foreign Airlines Abandon Nigeria, Says Country is Worst Debtor to Airlines

FG Explains Why Foreign Airlines Abandon Nigeria, Says Country is Worst Debtor to Airlines

  • The FG has given reasons why some foreign airlines favour other countries over Nigeria
  • It attributed this to the burden of multiple agencies, complex paperwork, and many taxes and levies
  • Lagos and Abuja airports ranked as the most expensive in the world by IATA

Legit.ng journalist Zainab Iwayemi has over three years of experience covering the Economy, Technology, and Capital Market.

The federal government has explained why some airlines prefer neighbouring countries to Nigeria.

The chairman, presidential fiscal policy and tax reforms committee, Taiwo Oyedele, spoke at the Business Breakfast Meeting organised by the Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI).

The event was titled “Nigerian Aviation Sector Charges, Duties & Tariffs: Truly Exorbitant.”

FG explains why foreign airlines abandons Nigeria, says country is the worst debtor to airlines
The report indicated that some airlines now choose to fly into neighboring countries due to the high cost of overnight parking. Photo Credit: Aaron Foster, FG
Source: Getty Images

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Carriers prefer to fly empty

According to Oyedele in a Leadership report, carriers prefer to fly empty outbound cargo planes instead of paying hefty fees to load products from Nigeria into other nations.

He also lamented that some airlines now choose to fly into neighbouring countries due to the high cost of overnight parking in Nigeria.

He demanded that the weight of several agencies, intricate paperwork, and abundant taxes and levies be addressed to maintain local and global competitiveness.

The tax committee chairman also stated that Nigeria cannot hope to be competitive while entangling companies in demanding procedures.

He added that the country should stop taxing seeds and instead create an atmosphere that supports companies so they may prosper and produce goods that we can tax.

Most expensive airports in the world

Oyedele voiced his displeasure with the Lagos and Abuja airports being ranked as the most expensive in the world by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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He said:

“Recent revelations from IATA rank our Lagos and Abuja airports as the two most expensive in the world, no thanks to the endless levies, taxes, and fees. Whether or not this assertion is accurate, the mere perception of it is detrimental and demands our urgent attention.
“Equally, a recent news report credited to FAAN indicated that at least 15 airports in Nigeria are not viable. Sadly, beyond the huge capital outlay, we also need to maintain these airports and airstrips at huge costs despite our lean resources.”

According to him, this puts excessive strain on the few operating airports, especially in Lagos and Abuja, and maybe a factor in the numerous taxes and levies.

He said to overcome these obstacles, one must abandon the thinking that gave rise to them in the first place.

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Legit.ng also reported that foreign airlines earlier claimed about 90% of their $783 million trapped funds in Nigeria remain unpaid.

The airlines recently revealed this at a stakeholders’ forum convened by the minister of aviation and aerospace development, Festus Keyamo, in Lagos.

Data from the IATA revealed that as of August 2023, Nigeria owes about $783 million of block funds belonging to airlines.

Legit.ng also recently reported that Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria were considering exiting the country over trapped revenue.

Source: Legit.ng

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