NAAPE, Customs differ on import waiver default

The National Association of Air Pilots and Engineers has corroborated the Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, that the Nigeria Customs Service has not been obeying the waiver clause signed into law by the Federal Government on importation of aircraft and the spare parts.

National President of NAAPE, Galadima Abednego, told Financial Street on Tuesday, “Customs is not keeping to the waivers, that is why the operators complain and we call on the Federal Government to quickly look into it. They are not complying and they should be made to comply.”

But the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, Joseph Attah, denied the accusation, describing it as a deliberate misinformation.

Section 39 of the Second Schedule of the Finance Act states, “Airlines registered in Nigeria and providing commercial air transport services are entitled to duty-free importation of their aircraft, engines, spare parts and components, whether purchased or leased.”

Onyema had, last week, accused the NCS of not obeying the waiver directive, which has been signed into law.

Attah said on Tuesday that the waiver did not grant concession on Comprehensive Imports Supervision Scheme and Economic Community of West African States Trade Liberisation Scheme, adding that the order only granted exemption to Customs Duty and Value Added Tax.

He explained that such imports were, therefore, still required to pay appropriate charges on ETLS and Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme.

“It was, therefore, in line with the extant regulations that NCS did not collect duty and VAT on Air Peace’s recent import of E195-E2 with registration No. 5N-BYE, but restricted itself to the collection of ETLS and CISS, which amounted to N189,000,000.” he stated.

The NAAPE president also stressed the importance of giving waivers to the aviation sector, which, according t him, grows the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

“It is important that waivers are given to the aviation sector, and the reason is simple. Aviation is capital-intensive and it grows the economy. To encourage aviation development, which has direct impact on the GDP, there is need to support the local carriers.

“It also has a multiplier effect on job creation and the economy. Aviation, apart from being a business, is also a national pride. So it is important we make our sector vibrant. We have clamoured and asked for it and we will ensure that it happens,” he said.

The National Public Relations Officer of NAAPE, Francis Igwe, added that some government policies are on paper, without proper implementation.

“In this case, even as an expert, the operator keeps complaining of Customs’ refusal to implement the waiver and duty they keep complaining. For me, generally, every policy made in Nigeria always has problem of implementation,” he said.

Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole
Anozie Egole is a Transport correspondent. He reports Maritime, Aviation and Rail/Road Transport for Financial Street.

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