FAAN MD, Mr. George Uriesi
Authorities of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has apologised to the Edo State Government and air travellers over the incident, which led to the closure of the Benin Airport on Tuesday.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. George Uriesi, who led other management staff, said: “We deeply regret the events of yesterday and we will like to find out how we can avoid a situation like this arising in the future, because it is neither in the interest of FAAN nor in the interest of Edo State Government for the airport to be closed down, because there were a lot of hardship and serious economic consequences as a result of the shutdown and there is need to settle this matter.”
Others members of staff on the entourage include included the General Manager, Mr. Yakubu Dati; Deputy General Manager, Mr. Kolawole Adefomiwa; Chief Security Officer (CSO), Mr. Adeboye Festus and Airport Manager, Benin City, Mr. Ayodele Sunday.
In his response, Oshiomhole noted that tax law was a federal law, which the state government was only trying to implement.
He said the tax, which FAAN defaulted on was the Pay As You Earn (PAYE), which even the president and governors pay.
Oshiomhole said the state Board of Internal Revenue Service (ESBIRS) got a proper Court Order to seal the FAAN Manager’s Office, noting that the FAAN Manager on his own, decided to seal up the airport to gain public sympathy.
The governor, who said the problem with Nigeria was not immunity, but impunity as people often violated the law and got away with it, insisted that anybody, who works and lives in the state should pay tax in contribution to the development of the state.
He said a way to avoid a re-occurrence of the ugly incident was for FAAN to comply with the law.
The governor, who expressed his displeasure with the FAAN Manager Benin Airport, Mr. Ayodele Sunday, for dramatising the issue, said: “I hope in future, this sort of thing does not happen.”