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‘Hinders infrastructure upgrade’ — NAMA calls for reversal of 50% revenue deduction

Stranded Passengers at Lagos Airport Stranded Passengers at Lagos Airport

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has called for a reversal of the 50 percent deduction in its revenue.

NAMA said it is currently facing significant financial constraints due to the deduction.

In a statement on May 29, Farouk Umar, managing director of NAMA, said the 50 percent revenue deduction was hindering the agency’s ability to maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure.

Umar also said the deduction is detrimental to airspace safety, adding that it was ‘unsustainable’.

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He said the model had severely impacted its revenue, cutting it by more than half at a time the need for infrastructural and personnel development was on the rise.

“The safety of our airspace is paramount, and the current financial model is unsustainable,” Umar said.

“The 50 percent revenue deduction hinders our ability to maintain and upgrade critical infrastructure, such as our obsolete surveillance systems, which are over a decade old and urgently need replacement. 

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“Without adequate funding, we can not meet the high costs of procuring and maintaining essential equipment or ensuring the continuous training of our technical staff, which is vital for maintaining safety standards.

“It is crucial to understand that NAMA operates on the principle of cost recovery, as recommended by ICAO. 

“This means all charges are solely meant to be for the recovery of equipment and other costs incurred in service provision.

“The current revenue-sharing formula allocates only 22 percent of the 5 percent airfare, contract, charter, and cargo sales charges to NAMA, despite our significant capital investment needs.

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“Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with less responsibilities as it stands currently is allocated 56 percent while the NAMA, with all its responsibilities, gets 22 percent.

“This formula is skewed against NAMA in spite of the huge capital requirement of its investment, jeopardising our ability to meet both national and international obligations. Restoring the full revenue allocation to NAMA is quite essential.”

Umar further said if the revenue allocation is reviewed, it would go a long way to enable the agency to address the critical infrastructure needs, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure the continuous training of NAMA’s safety-critical personnel. 

“With adequate funding, we can fulfil our mandate to provide safe and reliable air navigation services across Nigeria’s airspace,” he said.

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“By reversing the 50 percent revenue deduction, we can significantly enhance air safety, ensuring that Nigeria’s skies remain safe and maintain high safety standards. 

“At this juncture, I find it expedient to remind our political leaders that the entire aviation system is about safety as it remains sacrosanct owing to the fact that there is no parking space in the sky. 

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“Safety procedures and protocols must be prepared and strictly adhered to while on the ground.”

Umar also urged all stakeholders to support this change for the future of Nigeria’s aviation sector and the safety of the flying public.

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