NAMA Boss Urges FG to Scrap 50% Deductions from Its IGR to Guarantee Air Safety

Chinedu Eze

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has appealed to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to reverse the 50 per cent deduction from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), which it explained it needs to acquire critical safety equipment to keep the airspace safe.

Managing Director of NAMA, Ahmed Umar Farouk, made the appeal. He explained that the agency was entrusted with the critical responsibility of ensuring safe conduct of flights within Nigeria’s airspace, including the Gulf of Guinea.

 To fulfill this mandate, NAMA maintains advanced safety-critical equipment and recruits and trains personnel to meet national and international safety standards as outlined by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARS) and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPS).

 “Despite these efforts, NAMA is currently facing significant financial constraints due to the implementation of a 50 per cent revenue deduction. This reduction has severely impacted our revenue, cutting it by more than half at a time when the need for infrastructural and personnel development is growing.

“The safety of our airspace is paramount, and the current financial model is unsustainable. The 50 per cent 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.

“Without adequate funding, we cannot meet the high cost of procuring and maintaining essential equipment or ensuring the continuous training of our technical staff, which is vital for maintaining safety standards,” NAMA Managing Director said.

 He emphasised that it was 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 per cent of the five per cent airfare, contract, charter, and cargo sales charges to NAMA, despite our significant capital investment needs.

“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with less responsibilities as it stands currently is allocated 56 per cent while the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, with all its responsibilities, gets 22 per cent.

“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. Doing so will enable us to address the critical needs of our infrastructure, enhance operational efficiency, and ensure the continuous training of our safety-critical personnel.

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

 He also observed that by reversing the 50 per cent revenue deduction, “we can significantly enhance air safety, ensuring that Nigeria’s skies remain safe and maintain high safety standards.”

 “We urge all stakeholders to support this necessary change for the future of our aviation sector and the safety of the flying public.

“At this junction, 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. Safety procedures and protocols must be prepared and strictly adhered to while on the ground,” he added.

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