Petroleum workers demand helicopter landing fee reversal

 May 18, 2024

Petroleum workers demand helicopter landing fee reversal

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have condemned the Federal Ministry of Aviation’s imposition of excessive fees on helicopter operators.

According to The PUNCH, this was contained in a joint statement, by NUPENG’s General Secretary, Afolabi Olawale, and PENGASSAN’s General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa.

The duo expressed concern over the newly introduced charges, which include a 4% tax on gross revenue and additional levies.

The unions argued that these fees pose a significant threat to the sustainability of the helicopter transport sector, which is crucial to Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

The statement reads in part, “These new charges, which include a four per cent 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 units, floating storage, and offloading units, and other oil platforms to generate more revenue to the Federal Government.

“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. We hereby demand the withdrawal of this policy immediately in the overall interest of the country.

“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,” the workers declared.

They noted that the timing of the imposition is insensitive, given the government’s efforts to attract investors to the industry.

Helicopter operators provide essential services to the oil and gas sector, transporting personnel and equipment to offshore platforms and remote locations.

The unions warned that the increased costs would be passed on to chartering companies and ultimately affect employees in the sector.

NUPENG and PENGASSAN demanded the immediate withdrawal of the landing fees, urging the Ministry of Aviation to prioritize a business-friendly environment and support the growth of the industry.

They cautioned that failure to address this issue promptly could jeopardize industrial harmony in the petroleum sector.


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