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New airline operator dismisses  waiver regime in aviation as cumbersome

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Abiola Seun

United Nigeria Airline yesterday queried the federal government waiver regime system in the aviation sector, saying it is cumbersome to explore and frustrating to operators.

Speaking at a press briefing with members of the League of Aviation and Airport Correspondents (LAAC), the Chairman of the airline, Dr Obiora Okonkwo said there should be integration and harmonisation between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMOF).

He disclosed further that accessing the waiver easily and seamlessly will justify the good intention of the government to grant waiver to operators in the sector.

He said, “There is a waiver regime that exist and we have also benefitted from the waiver regime especially in terms of tariff. I know it exist but, it is cumbersome in nature to explore.

“We are still battling with some of them so that we can benefit in the spare part area because from the rules for every spare part, you have to go back to get a particular clearance but on general note, the waiver comes from Minster of Finace but there should be an integration with the Customs so that when there is a mis-interpretation of what they should be or what they ought to be, it is very frustrating for the operators.”

He however challenged the government to improve on the waiver system for it to be beneficial to everyone in the sector.

“I can make an appeal and commend the government that the waiver regime and policy is very good, healthy for the industry because if anything to the contrary is done, it will ground the industry.

“Imagine they ask us to pay 10 or 20 percent on aircraft imported into the country, then I will rather prefer to sell aircraft and make money than fly them but accessing it easily and seamlessly will only justify the good intention of the government to grant waiver.”

He stated further, “All the government sectors that are relevant to the process should look into that, synchronise and synegise so that the implementing organ in this case which is the Nigeria Customs Service is very lenient in the approach to it and they have all information they need to actualise the waivers for those who merited it,” he said.

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