Why NUPENGASSAN demand withdrawal of landing charges on helicopter operators

By allcitynews.ng

Apparently concern that the efforts to contribute their quotas to the growth of the economy could be jeopardised if the recent announcement by Federal Government, is not cancelled, the organised labour in oil and gas industry has demanded for the withdrawal of the helicopter landing cost.

They cited the roles helicopters have been playing towards ease of doing business in the sector, as the main reason for demand of the cancellation of the cost.

Reiterating that helicopters have always remained the main transportation tools for easy movement within the terrain, the  unions, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (NUPENGASSAN), described the new landing fees imposed on helicopter operators, especially those servicing the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, as unjustifiable one, as such, should be withdrawn.

Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa and Comrade Afolabi Olawale , General Secretary of NUPENGPENGASSAN, who made this known noted that the imposition could be counterproductive  because it would hinder performance of their duties within the environment.

According to the duo,  “We strongly condemn this decision by the Federal Ministry of Aviation to impose exorbitant fees on helicopter operators during this period of economic hardship on businesses and the citizenry.

“These new charges, which include a 4% charge on the gross revenue of helicopter operators, as well as additional levies and taxes, pose a grave threat to the sustainability and viability of the helicopter transport sector that is critical to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

“We recall that a recent memo directed helicopter operators to compulsorily pay for helicopter landing fees at all Nigerian aerodromes’ helipads, airstrips, floating production storage, and offloading (FPSO) units, floating storage and offloading (FSO) units, and other oil platforms to generate more revenue to the Federal Government”.

Moreover the union said, “This is very insensitive at a time the Federal Government is shopping for investors in the oil and gas industry and muting various incentives to make the industry attractive.

“The oil and gas industry is a critical component of Nigeria’s economy, and the helicopter operators serving this sector play a vital role in its success.”

Furthermore, NUPENGPENGASSAN, stated that “These operators provide essential transportation services, moving personnel and equipment to offshore platforms and remote locations, ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the industry.

“This unpopular decision has a detrimental impact on the sector, as this incremental cost is going to be passed on to the chartering companies who will in turn transfer the burden to the employees in the sector.”

In addition, the duo stated that “We hereby demand the withdrawal of this policy immediately in the overall interest of the country.

“As Unions working for the growth of the Nation’s economy, we strongly urge the Ministry of Aviation to immediately withdraw the landing fees on helicopter operators servicing the oil and gas industry.

“This would not only provide much-needed relief to the sector but also demonstrate your commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment and supporting the growth and development of this crucial industry.”

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