The Airline Operators of Nigeria [AON] has urged the Federal Government through the Ministry of Transportation to restrict all international airlines operating into the country to two entry points to prevent depletion of the nation’s foreign reserve.
This is just as the body tactically urged the Federal Government to address the discriminating practice of making some domestic airlines to pay Value added Tax [VAT] while others are exempted, failing which the body will direct its members to stop remittance to government beginning on June 14.
The AON said this shortly after a marathon held at the association’s secretariat on Wednesday in Lagos to deliberate on issues affecting the domestic airline operators.
The body argued that the approval by the Ministry of Transportation allowing international carriers to berth at several domestic airports designated for international flights decimates the domestic air travel market and depletes the nation’s foreign reserves and jobs.
“AON’s position is that any foreign carrier should be restricted to only two points of entry into the country and explore interline options with domestic airline operators should it become necessary for expansion in order to protect capital flight and jobs of our ailing Nigerian youths,” AON said,
The body added that in view of the above, the Federal Government should review its policies on these matters and address its concerns as enunciated in the position paper presented to the Presidential Task Force on Aviation by the AON.
Meanwhile, the domestic airline operators under the auspices of AON has stated that its members would stop remitting Valued Added Tax [VAT]to the Federal Government beginning from June 14,2018.
The Chief Executive Officers of domestic airlines argued that apart from the fact that some airline are [paying while some are not , the domestic airline industry in the country is the only means of transport paying VAT to the government
According to AON, “Nigerian domestic airline travel is the only mode of transportation that is subjected to the Value Added Tax [VAT]. This imposition creates a suppression of domestic airline travel demand; therefore resulting in airlines not being able to optimally utilize their aircraft assets and more importantly creating a market distortion.
The AON’s position is that the VAT on airline ticket sales for domestic carriers must be removed completely forthwith as road transportation, rail, marine and international air travel carriers are not subjected to VAT.”
“Moreover, a situation whereby some airlines are paying VAT while some other privileged airlines are not paying VAT and the VAT which we pay is being used to subsidise our competitors against those that are making payment is unfair,” AON said.