… It’s not true – Agency spokesman
An aviation expert and member of the Aviation Round Table (ART), Group Capt. John Ojikutu (Rtd), has called for financial audit and probe of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
He also accused the NCAA of under-declaring the revenue from the earnings on passengers’ ticket and cargo freight sales which he claimed led to the short changing of other benefiting aviation agencies.
In an article titled: “Probe NCAA’s Five Per cent Earnings on Passengers’ Tickets and Cargo Freight Sales and Question Sources of NBS Figures on Aviation” made available to our correspondent yesterday, Ojikutu accused NCAA of under-declaring the passenger traffic data, thus keeping monies illegally to itself.
Ojikutu said, “Unfortunately, the manner the recordings of the earnings from these statutory charges had been handled by the NCAA and its consultants in the last 10 years and is still being handled today.”
He noted that, “At a press conference in February, 2017, NCAA released a report that showed earnings from Airlines Ticket Sales (ATSs) alone for the year 2015 and 2016 as N385bn and N330bn respectively. These figures were not broken down to elucidate the earnings for neither international nor domestic passengers.”
Group Capt. Ojikutu said “These figures are misleading when compared with the records available at the NCAA DATR on the five per cent Ticket Sales (TSC) for the international and domestic airlines ticket sales alone; especially from January to December 2016, which was N15.1bn in and $23.5m or a total of N23.3bn. If N23.3bn was the recorded five per cent TSC on the ticket sales alone in 2016 by the NCAA DATR, the ticket sales earnings, therefore, cannot be N330bn as presented by NCAA at the February 2017, conference but N466bn; a difference of N136bn.”
He also noted that, “That the same 2017 press conference, NCAA recorded passenger traffic figures of 11.4 million and 11.3 million for 2015 and 2016 respectively is also misleading when taken against the figures of 15.2 million and 14.2 million recorded respectively for the same periods by FAAN, ‘the passengers’ gate keeper’ at all the national airports. The NCAA also recorded 3,272,331 for each of the same years, for international passengers while the FAAN figures were 4.30 million and 4.20 million respectively.”
“Similarly, for the same period, the NCAA domestic passenger traffic figures were 8.1 million and 8.0 million respectively, while FAAN recorded 10.2 million and 10.9 million respectively for the same period.
The huge difference of over four million between FAAN and NCAA on the overall passenger figures for each of the two years and in particular, the difference of over one million in the international passenger figures are gaps of holes that made the NCAA recorded ATSs earnings of N385bn and N330bn for 2015 and 2016 misleading and questionable,” he said.
When contacted, the NCAA spokesman, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, debunked the claim by Capt. Ojikuti, saying it was not possible for the NAS to doctor any traffic data based on the checks on ground.
In an SMS response to our correspondent he said, “It is not correct and is not even possible. First, NCAA books have regularly been scrutinised by the various committees in the National Assembly, federal auditors from the Ministry of Aviation and the Auditor General of the Federation.”
“Secondly, NCAA , NAMA and FAAN have a standing committee that meets periodically to reconcile figures of aircraft and passengers’ movement. So, our figures are uniform and unified,” he said.
He also explained that the “billing of airlines is done based on actual coupon flown and passengers manifest that are supplied by airlines. So, it is not imaginary charges” he said, adding that “interestingly, allegations are coming after a futile effort from those that seek to be given a non-existent consultancy service because is already being handled.”