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House of Representatives threatens EFCC action amidst alleged ₦43 billion revenue mismanagement by NCAA



House of Representatives threatens EFCC action amidst alleged ₦43 billion revenue mismanagement by NCAA

In a significant development that underscores the commitment to financial accountability, the House of Representatives has issued a stern warning, threatening to hand over the management of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The warning comes in response to allegations of missing ₦43 billion in revenue generated by the aviation regulatory body in 2022. Rep. James Faleke, Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, delivered the notice during an interactive session with revenue-generating agencies in Abuja on Monday.


### **The Allegations and Revelation of Discrepancies**


The controversy stems from discrepancies revealed during the ongoing session with revenue-generating agencies. Records provided by the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) indicated that 16 million passengers were transported by local airlines in 2022, with an additional three million passengers by international airlines. The revenue generated from tickets sold to international passengers amounted to ₦1.28 trillion, of which ₦64 billion represented the five percent share distributed among the five regulatory agencies in 2022.


However, the House Committee on Finance discovered significant disparities in the financial records submitted by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority. According to the ADR16 documents managed by the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), a total of 14,572,614 passengers were airlifted by local airlines in 2021. From the documents presented to the Committee, NCAA declared ₦12.7 billion in revenue from the share of the gross revenue allotted to regulatory agencies in the industry.


Rep. Faleke raised concerns, pointing out that the declared amount fell short of the computed gross revenue share expected by NCAA, which was ₦66 billion. The breakdown of NCAA’s revenue share further revealed that ₦31 billion came from local passengers, and ₦35.85 billion was from international flights for the period under review.


### **Sharing Formula and Outstanding Revenue Issues**


The sharing formula for the five regulatory agencies indicated that 56% of the allocated amount is earmarked for NCAA, while Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) receives 22%. The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) gets 9%, the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) receives 7%, and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is allotted 6%. Rep. Faleke also alleged that the agency had an outstanding ₦8 billion in revenue undeclared from funds accrued through international passengers in 2022.


In response to the allegations, representatives from the NCAA, including Captain Ibrahim Dambazau and Abubakar Gachi, explained that certain local airlines were indebted to the agency. They clarified that the airline operators in question owed money to NCAA. Faleke, dissatisfied with the ongoing controversies and the apparent under-remittance, requested the audited reports of NCAA. Additionally, he demanded comprehensive reports on the banks operated by NCAA before the transition to the Treasury Single Account (TSA) from 2015 to Q1 of 2023. The committee also sought a list of all local airlines indebted to NCAA.


### **Implications and House Threat to Involve EFCC**


The House of Representatives’ threat to hand over the management of NCAA to the EFCC underscores the gravity of the situation and the determination to ensure accountability within regulatory bodies. Such actions are vital for maintaining public trust and integrity in the aviation sector, where safety and financial transparency are paramount.


The allegations of missing revenue and outstanding funds bring attention to the need for rigorous financial auditing and oversight within regulatory agencies. The EFCC’s potential involvement adds a layer of scrutiny, signaling the government’s commitment to investigating and addressing financial irregularities.


As this issue unfolds, it is expected that the House Committee on Finance will delve deeper into the financial records, seeking clarification and transparency. The ultimate goal is to ensure that regulatory agencies adhere to established financial procedures, contribute to national revenue, and safeguard the interests of the public and the aviation industry.

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