The House of Representatives on Wednesday threatened to issue a warrant of arrest against the Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mohammed Odunowo, next Monday, over missing N43 billion revenue accruing from sales of both local and international air tickets between 2021 and 2022.
Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Abiodun James Faleke, issued the threat notice during the resumed hearing in Abuja, frowned at the level of disrespect for the Parliament.
Worried by the NAMA helmsman’s refusal to honour the two invitations sent to him by the Committee, Faleke said: “When we did the calculation, I recall that we recorded about N43 billion deficit. And of course, NCAA said they do not agree with the number provided by FAAN. The data whatever, that it couldn’t have been up to that.
And FAAN said that this was not generated by them but generated by NAMA. And there’s a record – the ADR 16 that generates that. So, we asked them to come back with NAMA and with specific data from that ADR 16.
“And today, we have NCAA before us. Unfortunately NAMA is not here. I don’t know why, this is the second time, the next time we are going to issue a warrant of arrest on NAMA. If he fails to appear before us on Monday, we will issue warrant of arrest on NAMA boss,” he ruled.
After grilling the NCAA delegation, the Committee asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Accountant General of the Federation to provide details of all the accounts being operated by Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
While frowning at the Agency’s failure to provide the data from the ADR 16, the lawmakers emphasised the need for NCAA to provide relevant documents showing detailed reports of total passengers carried by all the airlines on monthly basis, how passengers carried to various destinations, ticket fees charged per airline and 5 percent of the charges.
The lawmakers also demanded for bank accounts of the five agencies that are involved in sharing of the 5 percent of the total revenue generated from air tickets was remitted to and the distribution pattern of that total sum as well as evidence of the distribution.
Worried by the inconsistency of the NCAA delegation’s explanation on the billable and non-billable airline operations, scheduled and non-scheduled aircraft operations as well as the chartered flights, the lawmakers underscored the need for relevant data to justify their claims.
While scrutinizing the NCAA’s presentation, Hon. Faleke frowned at the discrepancy between the total of 15,518,978 domestic passengers were recorded while 3,791,985 international passengers were recorded in 2018, as well as the number of billable departed passengers.
Worried by the lackadaisical attitude of NCAA towards due diligence, Hon. Faleke said: “The next time you appear here, we will not hesitate to take action that will affect your seat.”
He alleged that officials of the regulatory agency “are hiding the money, that’s why you refused to provide the data.
“You people have always reported negative balance. I’ve done so much research on all of you. We said we are looking for N43 billion, so bring the data but you refused.
“If you’re not ready to give us the documents, we will compel you to do it. And if you refuse you will not be in that office and somebody will produce it,” he vowed.
While responding, the NCAA delegation led by Captain Ibrahim Dambazau and Abubakar Dachi as well as the Director of Operations, said the ADR 16 is the only authentic document recommended globally for documents of aircrafts.
He added that operations of operators will be assigned with code and time of schedule for the aircraft.
According to the NCAA, the private chartered aircraft do not sell tickets hence those passengers are not charged.
In the bid to track the missing fund, Hon. Faleke harped on the need for all the beneficiaries of the 5 percent including, NAMA, NCAA, NCAT, NSIB, NiMET to give account of their stewardship.
To this end, the Committee resolved that all the stakeholders should appear on the 14th December with all the records requested for.