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May 29, 2024

Reverse 50 per cent revenue deduction on NAMA, FG urged

Reverse 50 per cent revenue deduction on NAMA, FG urged

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By Dickson Omobola

Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, has urged the Federal Government to reverse the 50 per cent revenue deduction enforced on the agency, saying with the continued decrement, NAMA is at risk of not adequately executing its functions.

Managing Director of NAMA, Engr Farouk Umar, said the 50 per cent revenue deduction was hindering NAMA’s ability to maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure, stressing that the agency’s surveillance systems had become obsolete.

Umar, in a statement, said restoring the full revenue allocation to the agency would enable it to address infrastructure needs, enhance operational efficiency and ensure continuous training of safety-critical personnel among others. 

The statement stressed that the financial constraints had impacted NAMA’s revenue, cutting it by more than half at a time when the need for infrastructural and personnel development was on the rise.

The statement reads: “The safety of our airspace is paramount, and the current financial model is unsustainable. The 50 per cent revenue deduction hinders our ability to maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure, such as our obsolete surveillance systems, which are over a decade old and urgently need replacement. Without adequate funding, we can not meet the high costs of procuring and maintaining essential equipment or ensuring the continuous training of our technical staff, which is vital for maintaining safety standards.

“It is crucial to understand that NAMA operates on the principle of cost recovery, as recommended by ICAO. This means all charges are solely meant to be for the recovery of equipment and other costs incurred in service provision.

“The current revenue-sharing formula allocates only 22 per cent of the 5 per cent airfare, contract, charter, and cargo sales charges to NAMA, despite our significant capital investment needs.Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority with less responsibilities as it stands currently is allocated 56 per cent while the NAMA, with all its responsibilities, gets 22 per cent;

“This formula is skewed against NAMA in spite of the huge capital requirement of its investment, jeopardising our ability to meet both national and international obligations. Restoring the full revenue allocation to NAMA is quite essential.

“Doing so will enable us to address the critical needs of our infrastructure, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure the continuous training of our safety-critical personnel. With adequate funding, we can fulfill our mandate to provide safe and reliable air navigation services across Nigeria’s airspace.

“By reversing the 50 per cent revenue deduction, we can significantly enhance air safety, ensuring that Nigeria’s skies remain safe and maintain high safety standards. We urge all stakeholders to support this necessary change for the future of our aviation sector and the safety of the flying public.

“At this juncture, I find it expedient to remind our political leaders that the entire aviation system is about safety as it remains sacrosanct owing to the fact that there is no parking space in the sky. Safety procedures and protocols must be prepared and strictly adhered to while on the ground.”

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