By Chinedu Eze
Shareholders of Med-View Airline Plc have called on the federal government to review downwards some of the taxes and charges levied on domestic airlines, noting that some of the taxes are outrageous and heavy burden on the operators.
They explained that one of the major reasons why Nigeria does not have successful airlines is the undue taxes the airlines are forced to pay. The shareholders advised the government not to see airlines as sources of revenue but major vehicles for the growth of the economy.
They also urged the government toÂ give tax concession to airlines operating in the country to encourage them to succeed and deepen their competitiveness.
The shareholders made the call at the annual general meeting (AGM) held at the weekend in Lagos, where they remarked that to deepen competitiveness among airlines, government must help to reduce their operation cost for them to serve the public better.
The shareholders frowned on the increase in the airlineâ€™s operating cost, which was blamed on high taxation, the high price of aviation fuel, among others.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole had reported at the meeting that the companyâ€™s turnover for 2017 rose from N26.03billion to N36.9billion which was an increase of 42 per cent from the 2016 result.
He said profit after tax also increased by N1.2billion from N772million in 2016, disclosing that the airline is on the verge of acquiring a new B737-800 and a modern B777-200ER to its fleet to boost its international operations.
â€œHigh maintenance cost and multiple taxes are still major factors that plague the company, the year in view is not an exceptionâ€, Bankole said.
The shareholders while commending the consistency of the airline in declaring dividend despite the challenging operating climate which has jacked up the operating cost advocated for a tax reduction and more government support for airlines.
One of the independent shareholders, Mr. Patrick Ajudua said: â€œThere is the need for government to come to the aid of the industry especially in terms of easy access to foreign exchange.
â€œGovernment should encourage the growth of the industry especially the local airlines that are committed to the growth of the industry.â€
Another shareholder, Alhaji Tunde Kabir Sanni said: â€œThis account though historical is very commendable. I am particularly happy that this airline has been consistent in terms of payment of dividends.â€