AIB defends review of passengers’ service charge

Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal II

• NAPTIP operatives to work at Heathrow, Gatwick airports
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday justified the mandatory five per cent Passengers Service Charge (PSC) and its recent review, describing them as critical to the discharge of statutory regulatory functions of aviation agencies.

AIB, one of the five beneficiary agencies of the PSC, said the fund was needed to clear outstanding backlog of accident investigation exercises.

A five per cent PSC on every ticket sold in the country goes to various agencies at certain percentages.

The apex regulatory body, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in accordance with the Civil Aviation Act 2006 gets 58 per cent.

Others like the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) earns 23 per cent, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) gets seven per cent, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) earns nine per cent and AIB gets three per cent until it was recently increased to five per cent.

AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru, said it was within the purview of the Minister of State for Aviation to upgrade AIB’s allocation in view of the task before it.

Olateru bemoaned the criticism that trailed the approval of five per cent of the PSC to the agency by the ministry from a section of the industry, saying several AIB projects were stalled because of paucity of funds.

Also, a team from Singapore and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) yesterday arrived Nigeria for the training of technical personnel of AIB on the use of the Safety Laboratory Equipment in Abuja and technical evaluation of the laboratory prior to its update.

The team, led by Michael Toft and Caj Frostel is expected to commence work today on the equipment.

Meanwhile, traffickers in persons in Nigeria would from henceforth experience hard times as operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) would now work at the Heathrow and Gatwick Airports with the security agencies in the United Kingdom.

NAPTIP spokesman, Josiah Emereole, said the joint operation, which would be for a short period, would see NAPTIP operatives working hand-in-glove with the UK Border Force and other relevant agencies at the two gateways into the United Kingdom.

This is the outcome of high-level meeting in London between the Director-General of NAPTIP, Julie Okah-Donli and officials of the Home Office of the United Kingdom.

“As part of the partnership drive and in furtherance of her vision towards making NAPTIP a big player in counter trafficking initiatives, the Director-General has been engaging various partners within and outside Nigeria to seek ways of further improving the operations of the Agency and the early rescue of Nigerian Potential Victims of Trafficking in Person (PVoTs),” Emereole stated.

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