10th June, 2011
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, may have fleeced the Federal Government of Nigeria of at least N1 billion, according to statistics made available by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.
The Director General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, at a forum, â€˜Aviation Statistical Committee Meetingâ€™, held on Tuesday in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, said that his statistics for last year contradicted those released by FAAN and could give Nigeria a bad image.
According to the NCAA DG, who was represented by the Director of Air Transport Regulation of NCAA, Mrs. Iyabo Sosina, in the year 2010, figures released by FAAN were one million passengers lesser than what her agency gathered.
According to her, data for arriving and departing domestic passengers from the 21 airports stood at 5, 648, 931 and 5,632,406 respectively while the international arriving passengers stood at 1,661,072 and 1,587,879 for international departing passengers, totaling 14,530,288 on flights departing and arriving Nigeria.
She explained that the figures obtained from FAAN for last year stood at 2,147,937 for international embarking and 5,344,346 embarking domestic passengers while that of disembarking passengers was 1,648,479 for the international passengers and 5,392,374 for domestic passengers, giving an overall total of 13,983,136 passengers for 2010.
Every air passenger travelling within Nigeria or departing the country pays a fee known as Passenger Service Charge, PSC. It varies from N1000 to N5000 for local and international routes.
With the official figures released by FAAN for the year 2010, at least one million passengers on domestic and international routes remained unaccounted for. The shortfall robs the Federal Government of between N1 billion and N5 billion.
FAAN has been headed by Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun since November 2008 when the former head, Mr. Mohammed Usman, was sacked by the ate President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua.
FAAN and its revenue generating concessionaire, Maevis Nigeria Limited, are currently embroiled in a fraud allegation scandal that has dragged them to court.
By Simon Ateba