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    Friday, May 17, 2024

    NUPENG, PENGASSAN Demand Helicopter Landing Fee Reversal

    The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN),  have opposed the new landing charges imposed on helicopter operators by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development.  

    The unions in a joint statement, condemned the decision, which includes a four per cent charge on the gross revenue of helicopter operators, along with additional levies and taxes. They emphasised that this decision is seen as a significant threat to the sustainability of the helicopter transport sector, which plays a crucial role in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

    As advocates for the growth of Nigeria’s economy, NUPENG and PENGASSAN therefore urged the government to “immediately withdraw this landing fees on helicopter operators serving the oil and gas industry in the overall interest of the country.” They emphasise the need for a business-friendly environment that supports sector growth and provides relief to businesses during challenging economic times.

    The statement was signed by the general secretary of NUPENG, Afolabi Olawale, and the general secretary of PENGASSAN, Lumumba Okugbawa,  marking a unified stance from both organisations in the face of these new financial burdens.  

    Citing the impact of the decision at what they described as a critical time within the business sphere, they added, “This is very insensitive at a time when 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.”

    They added that the operators being taxed provide essential transportation services, moving personnel and equipment to offshore platforms and remote locations, ensuring the smooth and efficient operation of the industry.   According to them, this decision has a detrimental impact on the sector, as the increment in cost is going to be passed on to the chartering companies who will in turn transfer the burden to the employees in the sector.   

    The new policy requires helicopter operators to pay for heliport landing fees at all Nigerian heliports, airports, floating production storage, offshore facility (FPSO) units, and other platforms, aiming to generate more revenue for the federal government. However, the unions view this as an affront to investors in the oil and gas industry, which is already competing for more investments.

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