18 April 2012

Nigeria: Senate to Sanction Air France, British Airways Over Tax Evasion

Photo: Crashdburned/Flickr
Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria.

The Senate Committee on Aviation probing the alleged violation of aviation laws and sharp practices by foreign airlines in Nigeria as well as lapses in the operations of regulatory agencies has vowed to sanction foreign airlines discovered to have evaded tax.

The chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma (PDP, Imo West), who said this yesterday at the ongoing public hearing, described tax evasion as "a crime for which sanction has to be effected".

He said his committee had discovered that some foreign airlines, including British Airways and Air France, had deliberately deprived the Federal Government of the five percent of the money realized from their air tickets.

"These airlines are supposed to be remitting the five percent tax they are charging on tickets to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), but they are not doing so," he said.

In his submission, the representative of Air France, Mr, Christian Happing, told the committee that his company annually reviews airfares as done globally; while the country manager of British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka said, "today, no airline in Nigeria is remitting five percent charged on airfares to the NCAA."

The committee urged the NCAA to recover "all the monies Nigeria has been short-changed by foreign airlines."

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