Senate Committee Chairman on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi on Monday says it is too dangerous and risky to fly in Nigeria considering the challenges confronting Aviation industry.
Adeyemi who was addressing journalists at a press conference said the Aviation sector was strategic as well as instrumental to the socio-economic growth of nations but added that what Nigeria has today was nothing short of death in the Air, save for Federal Government’s intervention.
According to him, the public hearings and budget defence which took place last week further brought aviation challenges which need immediate intervention from the Federal Government to the fore.
“It is very important to note that the aviation sector is regarded as a strategic industry, not only for its potential for economic growth but also its crucial role in national development and regional integration i.e. facilitates international trade by providing fast transportation network.
“We particularly held interactions with Airline Operators and a few important factors came to fore. One of which is that the steps needed to bring about resuscitation and sustainability in the aviation industry is far beyond the capacity of the airline operators.
“It will indeed require executive orders which must be adhered to.
The lawmaker complained that airline operators couldn’t clear imported spare parts of their planes, thereby causing devastation amid high cost of fuel and maintenance of crafts.
He called on the Federal Government to grant waivers on imported spare parts and increase N4 billion intervention funds, saying that smaller countries like Senegal and others have robustly intervened in their aviation sectors.
“The customs department has not complied with the executive order to waive any form of taxation on the importation of spare parts and commercial aircraft.
“It has been discovered that there are still multiple forms of taxation persisting.”
Adeyemi posited that the plight of airline operators was further compounded by non-compliance of Executive orders as well as their inability to access foreign exchange.
“There has also been non-compliance of the executive order on the removal of Value added tax (VAT) from air transport.
“The inability of the airline operators to have access to single-digit lending as obtainable in other parts of the world.
“The inability of the airline operators to access foreign exchange as and at when due to enable them pay the value added tax for their aircrafts.”