over outstanding debts, passengers stranded
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN has sealed off some airline counters in Abuja over debts owed by these airlines. This development left many passengers stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport, NAIA, Abuja today.
Passengers on Azman air to Maiduguri and other places could not buy tickets or even board their flights as staff of the airlines could not complete ticket and boarding formalities as the FAAN task force sealed off the counters.Also affected are aero contractors passengers and many others.
The counters were sealed according to investigation because the airlines were unwilling to offset their debts despite several entreaties. Some of the domestic airlines are said to be owing FAAN millions from last year and before the covid19 came onboard.
Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu who confirmed the development said, it was FAAN revenue drive in NAIA. Commenting on the development, stakeholders say they are unhappy with the treatment melted on the passengers as they had to suffer for the failure of the airlines to do the needful.
One of the stakeholders says, “The passengers were stranded because the airlines failed to pay bills which the customers had already provided funds for.” They also say, the untold hardship suffered by passengers would have been avoided if the airlines had remitted what they collected in behalf of FAAN back to them, adding that FAAN should not be blamed for their action.
“We have joined to condemn FAAN on occasions of poor service delivery, we should also call out debtor airlines who owe FAAN and not allowing it earn in other to perform its duties. FAAN should just any legal means to collect its monies. Some airlines are chronic debtors. If everybody does their part we will have a functional sector.”
“Not paying your bills when you have received the funds should not be encouraged either. Much stiffer sanctions could have been applied.” Another stakeholders however blamed this never ending problem of outstanding debts on the attitude of FAAN Management whom he believes are not proactive in dealing with such issues.
“The problem with our FAAN over the years has been its lackadaisical attitude to revenue collection. Sometimes, it is either the other company claims irregular billing or inaccurate billing or irreconcilable differences in their billing system. FAAN has also failed as much as it had tried to engender Automation in billing and payment system. We have advocated some safety measures severally, but same system. The worst part is the diversion of same funds to private pockets.”