Navigational Aids: NAMA Accuses Nigeria Customs of Waiver Denial  

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Navigational Aids: NAMA Accuses Nigeria Customs of Waiver Denial  

Chinazor Megbolu

The Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) has accused the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of denying them waivers on navigational aids.

The Agency said this at the weekend during a press briefing held in Lagos and stated that NCS did not grant the waiver to clear the CAT111 navigation aids equipment from the Lagos seaport.

The Managing Director, NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu explained the agency had to pay over N100 million, before being allowed to clear the imported equipment worth about one billion Naira.

According to him; “CATIII is a modern Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach used in low visibility weather condition”.

“They are specialized instruments installed at airports to assist pilots to fly at almost zero visibility.”

Recall, NAMA earlier in January 2020 stated the module behind the installation of CAT III instrument landing systems in strategic areas was borne out of the need to boost safety at the nation’s airports.

Akinkuotu who hinted that they had earlier pursued Customs management for waivers, explained that the equipment had been lying fallow at the seaport for almost 6 months before they were eventually cleared and deployed in the last quarter of 2019.

He further noted that NAMA as a government agency had applied for duty waiver from NCS to clear the critical safety equipment but was denied.

“However, the NCS declined the request, despite the duty waivers granted the aviation industry by the Federal Government”.

“The equipment was at the seaport for some few months because of issues of customs duty, application for duty waiver and others, but we had cleared them and they had been installed”.

“We didn’t get waivers for the equipment and we had to pay hundreds of millions of naira for the clearance of the ILS”.

“They are part of the automation project. They are mobile portable cabins that contain the one-stop Aeronautical Information Service (AIS),” Akinkuotu said.

He said that the automation equipment was installed in Lagos, Jos, and Ilorin airports respectively.

According to him; “the agency is gradually upgrading the facilities at the nation’s airports and stations”.

Akinkuotu maintained that the agency was asked not to include the clearance fees for the equipment in the 2018 budget and was assured that as a government agency the equipment would be granted a waiver.

Akinkuotu also averred that NAMA had installed the Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) in Jos and Enugu airports towards improving the radio networks in those areas.

Meanwhile, the General Manager, NAMA, Mr Kalid Emele, in his remarks, pointed out the installation would also ensure efficiency, access and seamlessness of flight operations in the airspace especially during harmattan periods.

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