Friday 12 October 2012

2013 BUDGET: Airlines to Enjoy Zero Tariff on Aircraft and Spare-Parts Importation.

By Lateef Lawal

Relief may have come the way of airline operators in Nigeria as President Goodluck Jonathan today in his 2013 budget presentation to the Joint Session of the National Assembly announced zero tariff on aircraft importation and spares.
In announcing it,he explained that it was obvious that airline operators in the country maintain their aircraft overseas at heavy cost and that the relief would go a long way in assisting the airlines to re-new their fleet of aircraft.
It will be recalled that members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria[AON] have over the years pleaded with successive government to assist them by sharply reducing the tariff they pay on the importation of aircraft, spares and rotables to assuage the high cost they incurred in their operations.
The Report of March 2006 of Air Vice Marshal Paul Dike had recommended that government should cancel the 5% Value Added Tax being charged on ticket and cargo as part of the palliatives sought for airline operators.
In the final report of the Presidential Task Force on Aviation Industry, the Paul Dike Committee recommended in paragraph 70 page xxvii,among others that,:'' Government should grant custom duty waivers on aircraft spares, engines and test equipment. This would reduce financial burden on the airlines. It would also encourage good maintenance practices since spare parts would be more easily available. It would also remove the extra delay occasioned by cumbersome Custom procedures''.
The Assistant General Secretary of AON, Alhaji Mohammed Tukur commended the president for his good gesture and that the proposal,he hoped would scale through the National Assembly screening so as to further enhance safety of aircraft operations within the country's airspace.
He, however noted that nobody should start claiming credit for this proposal except Mr President who has muster the political will to forward the Paul Dike Committee recommendation to the Legislature for approval in the 2013 Appropriation Bill.

Courtesy: Nigerian Aviation News.


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