NCAA to meet foreign airlines over alleged rejection of naira •Reps asks FAAN to reverse plan increased access gate fee

Director-General of NCAA, Captain Mukhtar Usman

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it will soon convene a meeting with foreign airline operators over their alleged rejection of naira payment for flight tickets.

Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, made the disclosure in Lagos on Tuesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Adurogboye confirmed that the NCAA had received complaints from some passengers, adding that they had the right to make payments in naira.

He, however, noted that the industry was facing some challenges, particularly the scarcity of foreign exchange and inability of foreign airlines to repatriate their funds.

“The truth is that the airlines are beginning to reject the naira because of the special circumstances that they have found themselves.

“In the BASA agreement, when you sell your tickets, you should be able to repatriate your money; but presently, the airlines are finding it hard to take their money home.

“So this problem has arisen now and we are looking at how to find a workable solution to it.

“We will be meeting with the airlines soon because this situation is exceptional and we cannot just wield the big stick against them,” Adurogboye said.

He said the Federal Government was also taking measures to ameliorate the subsisting foreign exchange issues, adding that the inability of the airlines to repatriate their money was not deliberate.

Some airlines are allegedly accepting payments made only with credit cards or dollars.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) to immediately reverse its decision to increase the access gate charge expected to commence on October 1st.

The House resolution was sequel to a motion moved by Honourable Rotimi Agunsoye entitled, “increase in the rates of the access gate charge by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN- a need for reversal”.

According to him, the access gate charge on motorists by FAAN was N200 for cars, N300 for buses, SUVs and Jeeps, while other heavy duty vehicles including Trucks are charged N500 per entry, noting that, motorists are now forced to pay a one hundred percent increment with cars now to pay N400; buses, SUVs and jeeps N600 while Trucks are to pay N1000.

The lawmaker also raised concern that the purported increment is coming at a time when the vast majority of Nigerians are groaning under the painful bite of financial incapacities stemming from the recently proclaimed economic recession.

Honourable Agunsoye further stated that, the said decision by FAAN was not only insensitive to the prevalent plight of the average Nigerian but one that defiles propriety, lacking merit and able to push citizen beyond limits.

When the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, it was unanimously supported by members.