The Federal Government has been asked to grant tax exemption on handling equipment.
The Managing Director, Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi made the call at a briefing in Lagos.
She said the company received N70 million out of the N4billion bailout promised by the Federal Government to cushion the effects of the pandemic on aviation.
Mrs. Fagbemi said if waivers were given on aircraft spare parts, ground support equipment should also enjoy the same gesture from the government.
She recalled that during the pandemic look down, the Association of Ground Handlers of Nigeria applied for tax exemption on equipment similar to what is given to aircraft.
The NAHCO boss said: “Because at the end of the day, these are ground support equipment. They support and handle the aircraft, so if the aircraft are given zero duty, why should we also not enjoy that kind of rebate? We will be happy if that is given.”
The NAHCOaviance chief said the company would be happy if the government could give it more palliatives in form of zero percent loans and other windows to help them to continue to support the airlines.
“We are also looking at tax, if there is some form of exemptions, we have taken some opportunities where FIRS say pay before a certain time, some we have not be able to because we are actually being reviewed and audited, all the yearly audits so, we have to been able to take a position on those that we have but we will like more particularly because of the peculiarity of this business that we are in.
“So, it is high cost in terms of equipment, the equipment do not have the same value like an aircraft has and there is a limited number of years that you can flog it for and then you still pay all these duties and charges, so if we even have exemptions on duties, it will go along way to help us to be able to do that.”
Commending the Federal Government for the cash, Mrs. Fagbemi said the company looked forward to more.
“Yes, we were given about N70 million but if you look at how much we lost, it is not much but anything that is given is something that we are grateful for because it is better to have something than you have nothing.
‘’But like Oliver Twist, as we are thanking the Ministry and the Federal Government, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Minister of Finance, we are also hopeful that some more as we have told will be given to the ground handling companies,” she said.