Senate orders EFCC to recover unpaid fines of $235m from British Airways & Virgin Atlantic

The Senate, yesterday, asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to go after the British Airline and Virgin Atlantic Airways and recover a total of $235 million that should be fines in line with the Civil Aviation Act 2006.

It also mandated the anti-graft agency to compel the airlines to refund to Nigerian passengers monies that were illegal charges just as they were similarly compelled by UK and USA. The Senate gave the directive after deliberating on the report of the Senator Hope Uzodinma-led Senate Committee on Aviation on the violation of aviation laws and practice by foreign airlines and lapses in the operations of regulatory agencies.

According to the breakdown of the fines, BA will refund $135 million while VAA will cough out $100 million.

The report further disclosed that Lufthansa Airline currently owes Nigeria through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, well over $14 million being royalties due to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Uzodinma’s move to grant Arik Airline a national flag carrier status suffered a major setback following major criticisms the recommendation got from the Senators and it was, therefore, rejected. The committee also recommended that the Senate should engage Aviation Ministry on its plan to float an indigenous national carrier.

The Senate, however, stood down the report of the committee for another legislative day to enable the committee carry out further legislative actions.