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Lufthansa Must Pay N 2.4 billion Debt – Senate Aviation Committee

By on May 10, 2012

German airline Lufthansa has been ordered by the Nigerian Senate to pay US$ 14.8 million or over N 2 billion to the country as damages for flouting a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) it entered into with the Ministry of Aviation in 2008.

The agreement allowed Lufthansa four frequencies at the Lagos airport, however it was discovered that Lufthansa was enjoying a4 frequencies instead without paying any royalties to government coffers.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation, Hope Uzodinma ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to take immediate remedial action.

He said, “I direct you now to write Lufthansa to pay all our monies to NCAA because there is nothing binding either in the MoU or commercial agreement that would stop Lufthansa from paying. Listen let me tell you, people are quick at comparing us with all these mushroom countries.

“We have this huge market here that must be protected so when they go and have something convenient for them in Ghana and Togo that is not up to two local governments in Nigeria, you now use it as a model to implement policies in Nigeria and we lose money. This makes us look stupid before the international community.

“I think, as a matter of fact, you must join hands and protect the market which is our own treasure. So in my opinion, you should liaise with the NCAA and recover this money from Lufthansa. If it means grounding all the aircraft to ensure that our laws are obeyed, we will do it. We must develop the will as a people.

“As at 2009 to November 2011, we have an outstanding $14,833,000,000 and the invoices are here issued by NCAA. I want you to support NCAA, retrieve your letter so that they can receive their money because this is an entitlement of government.

“I think that as we call for the review of your MoU and the BASA, we ask Lufthansa to pay all monies due to government. It is unfortunate Lufthansa people are not here, they are quick at sending lawyers.”