Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has given a 30-day final ultimatum to debtor airlines and private/state-owned airports to settle all outstanding debts owed it or it would withdraw its services to them.
The agency, which provides critical services to airlines and airports, said the debts owed it by these organisations is over N5 billion.
If the agency carries out its threat, flights operated by indebted airlines would not be given start up, which means they would suspend operation and if NAMA withdraws its services from the indebted privately owned airports, they would automatically stop operations.
NAMA, in a statement by its spokesman, Khalid Emele, in Lagos yesterday, said the ultimatum given to the airlines and airports would expire on February 28, after which it would suspend services to the debtors.
The agency provides air traffic control, surveillance, communications services at airports and to the airlines in addition to serving as the channel for weather reports to airlines and other beneficiary organisations.
“The demand notice which expires on the 28th of February, 2020 expects all debtors to settle their indebtedness or risk sanctions. It will be recalled that the affected debtors had earlier been communicated with details of their respective indebtedness but have made no tangible effort to pay,” NAMA said.
It disclosed that NAMA had already notified the debtor private/state-owned airport operators and airlines that effective from the above date “our services will no longer be available for the operation of their airports or airlines as the agency can no longer keep its personnel working at airports without payment.”
The agency also urged the affected debtors to liaise with the commercial department of NAMA for reconciliation and/or clarification within the stipulated grace period.
Two years ago, NAMA withdrew its services from airports and that led to the closure of the Warri airports for about two weeks.
Other airports had their operations briefly disrupted before they quickly reconciled and paid their debts to the agency.