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FAAN halts domestic airlines’ operations over debt

Scores of passengers were stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, as some domestic airlines counters were shut. The airlines counters were closed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN over unpaid debts.

Apart from the counters that were closed, no passenger of the affected airlines was allowed access into the boarding areas. Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, who confirmed the development, said the agency was on a revenue drive at the Abuja airport. Some of the passengers, who spoke on the development, said the only information given was that FAAN closed their counter.

One of the passengers heading to Maiduguri said they were tired of waiting without knowing whether they were still going to travel or not. Other passengers heading to different parts of the country, like Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and elsewhere also suffered the same fate. According to investigation, same exercise is expected to take place at other airports in the coming days.

Some of the airlines, before the COVID-19 outbreak, owed FAAN millions of naira and since resumption of flights, the debts have continued to mount. A stakeholder in the industry says desperate time calls for desperate measures and that the action taken by FAAN was a strategy to recover their money for services rendered as the agency also needed to stay afloat in the business.

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