…Says All Is Not Well With AON
The Chairman of WestLink Airlines, Capt Ibrahim Mshelia has condemned the practice by some airlines who after collecting the 5 per cent Ticket Sales Charge(TSC) /Cargoes Sales Charge(CSC) for the government and refused to remit to coffers of the government.
This is just as he disclosed that all is not well with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), an umbrella body for domestic airlines in Nigeria, a situation which according to him has resulted in the body speaking at cross purposes.
Mshelia made these comments while speaking at the first day of the three- day public hearing to review the Acts setting up of aviation agencies organised by the National Assembly yesterday in Abuja.
Speaking further, the WestLink boss said that he sees no reason why airlines would collect money on behalf of the government and refuse to remit the same to the government.
“Why should I collect money for the government and refuse to remit the money back to the government. For me I don’t know why I should collect money and withhold it,” he asked.
He continued,”I am a member of the Airline Operators of Nigeria but I have a different opinion especially on the 5%Ticket Sales/ Cargo Sales Charges. Why would I collect money on behalf of the government and not remit it, especially as I collect before the flight.
“Except it is some form of online transfer that is difficult, monies can be remitted on or before 90 days, give me 90 day and I will remit if I am owing. Some of us are remitting the 5 per cent charges and we have been doing so for years.”
On AON, he said that there is a crisis in the body, adding that the crisis started when 16 members of AON out of the 36 members that make up the group lock out 20 members from the last election which has been generating criticism in the industry.
Mshelia said that the exclusion of 20 AON members from taking part in the controversial election with the aid of Policemen has created division in the group to the extent that it no longer speaks with one voice.
He advised that General Aviation (GA) should be well catered for, adding that in 1962, the United States deliberately developed its GA .
The WestLink Chairman wondered why operators of General Aviation would be made to use the same 62 voluminous manuals equally used by operators of commercial airlines, calling on the Ministry and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to critically look into the matter.