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Air Peace chairman, Onyema decries allowing foreign airline on domestic route

…As NASS seeks end to 25% IGR remittance by aviation agencies

Chairman of lead Nigerian airline, Air Peace, Chief Barr Allen Onyema has called on the Federal Government to save the jobs of domestic aviation companies by putting a stop to the practice of allowing foreign airlines to servicing domestic routes in the country.

Speaking on a private TV Station in Lagos on Monday night, he argued that the practice is removing the food on the tables of local airlines, embarrassing the economy, threatening national security and causing job losses in the process.

According to him, the flights of international airlines should end on landing and taking off Nigerian international airports and should not extend to domestic air services.

He said domestic airlines need to be protected from the excess capacities and dominance of foreign on local routes so as to spur capacity development and growth of local carriers.

He explained that “If we give international airlines access to every airport in Nigeria, the local airlines can never ever grow.

“Even in America, if you take your private jet to America. May be you are going to Atlanta and you want to land in New York to refuel, once you land to refuel, the next landing, you are not suppose to use that your aircraft to go any other place but a local airline or public transport until you are ready to fly out of the country after what you came for. This is in order to contribute to to their economy.

“Am referring to an ordinary private jet, not to talk of a commercial airline landing and carrying out domestic route services.

“I think that lifestyle or clamour for everybody to have international airlines flying to their kitchen or nearest airport around their village stopped,” Air Peace chairman averred.

On the other hand, the House of Representatives has called for an end to the 25 per cent compulsory remittances by aviation agencies to the federal government.

In the views of the national lawmakers, the agencies need the revenues for infrastructure development, training and modernisation of airport facilities.

Giving insights on the need to end the inflow to the TSA, House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji demanded that the agencies should have 100 percent retention of the internally generated revenues (IGRs) in order to ensure continued development and maintenance of the critical infrastructures in the sector.

The member representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency, made the submission on the floor of the House in Abuja, during a debate on the 2020 Budget Appropriation Bill transmitted to the National Assembly by President Mohammadu Buhari.

According to him, the aviation industry was pivotal to the overall development of the national economy because of its speed in the movement of top players in the industrial sector.

He argued that “Aviation can stimulate foreign direct investments, (FDIs) if well-developed so we must do whatever is possible to ensure that our infrastructure is up to date and in line with the global standards at all times.”

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