Aviation Stakeholders and professionals have pin pointed corruption in the expenditure of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s (NAMA) N72.5 billion in five years.
Investigation revealed that the agency, which generated N73.2 billion from aeronautic and non-aeronautic sources between 2010 and 2014, also claimed to have expended N72.5 billion within the same period, thereby saving just N700 million in five years.
Also, within the same period, NAMA did not remit any amount of money to the coffers of the Federal Government as required for all revenue generating organisations of government.
A pilot with the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways, Capt. Muhammed Gbadamosi, said it was wrong for the agency to expend such amount of money, suspecting foul play in the records of the airspace manager.
Gbadamosi alleged that corruption had been on in NAMA over the years, noting that previous managements always had a way of covering it, stressing that a lot of things are yet to be uncovered in the agency.
He alleged that it was corruption in the system that led to the early exit of one of the former managing directors of the agency and other officers.
Gbadamosi said: “It is not right for any government agency to spend such amount of money. Even if you look at the 5 percent Passenger Service Charge (PSC), that one of NAMA is higher than the one going to Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). That is part of the corruption we are talking about.
“There was fraud in NAMA for a lot of years. I want to tell you categorically that it is not right for any government organisation to spend all the money it earns.”
Immediate past General Secretary of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Alhaji Muhammed Tukur, described such spending as corruption.
Tukur observed that some of the infractions were committed during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, but noted that with the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA) by this government, such unwholesome practice is now reduced.
He recalled that before now, the agency’s clients were compelled to pay charges to different accounts including personal accounts by the former managements, but noted that such atrocities are on the reverse gear in recent time.
“You have to look at most of the periods under review; it was during the last administration a lot of things were committed and that is why when this government came onboard and introduced the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which directs all agencies to return any revenue they generate to a central account, such practices reduced a little.
“Their clients were forced to pay revenues into personal accounts, which have changed now with this government. Now, it is whatever the Federal Government budgeted for them that they can spend unlike in the past. We are in this mess because of corruption of the past in the system.
“Today, a certain former MD of NAMA is in court and he has to forfeit some amount of money and properties to the government. It is not right for any organisation to spend all the money they generated on their own. It’s because the agencies have lots of money at their disposal that is why they could engage in fraudulent activities.”
The aeronautic sources from which the revenues for the period were earned included en-route charges, over flight charges, five percent air ticket sales and other incomes.