Aviation Expert faults demand for tax relief by Nigerian Airlines

A Nigerian aviation expert, John Ojikutu has condemned the proposed plan to grant tax relief to Nigerian airline owners and operators.

Mr Ojikutu, an aviation expert and former military commandant at the Lagos airport, said government should be wary of supporting airline owners with public money that could be channelled to other causes.

Earlier, the Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria, AON, Nogie Meggison, had appealed to the government to take a closer look into the issue of VAT for domestic air transportation in Nigeria.

Speaking in a meeting with the Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, Babatunde Fowler, Mr. Meggison had noted that if VAT was to be removed, it will make fares affordable for passengers with fewer funds to fly, thereby increasing turnover generated by airlines.

In his reaction, the FIRS boss had pledged to support domestic airlines to ensure they remain in operation and are able to meet their Value Added Tax (VAT) remittance obligations.

Mr. Fowler further advised the AON to engage the Presidency through the department on the ease of doing business, the Senate and the Minister of Finance to dialogue on how the laws could be amended.

But commenting on the development, Mr. Ojikutu said the plan, if implemented, is in the wrong direction since most of the airlines are owned privately.